Most parents will worry for their children’s financial future. Recently, we’ve been discussing how to set up your children for a successful, happy life and how to prepare their future financially. At Etax Accountants, we have a lot of team members who are new parents. We’ve found some interesting research about parenting and how it affects your children’s success and happiness. Below are some ideas we’ve collated to help set your children up for a great future, including how to improve your children’s financial future.
1. Get your kids busy at home
Recent research shows that chores at home are a critical part of raising well-balanced grown-ups. Marty Rossmann, an emeritus associate professor of family education, is studying young adults and their family lives when growing up. Taking a group of people who’ve entered their 20’s, her study examines parenting styles, gender, types of household tasks, time spent on tasks, and attitudes. She also studies the same young people’s stability and ‘success’ based on items like c
ompletion of education, starting a career path, IQ, relationships with family and friends among others.
What’s the #1 predictor of kids becoming successful, well-adjusted adults?
Professor Rossman’s answer is surprisingly simple: Chores. Kids who started doing family chores at age 3 to 4 are more likely to be successful and happy when they reach their 20’s.
Another surprising result of her study: Kids who didn’t start doing chores until age 15 or 16 actually did worse later on.1
2. Piggy bank basics
Young people who learn about earning and saving money early-on have huge advantages in life: The things they want come easier. One of the best ways to improve your children’s financial future is to help them take hold of simple attitudes and behaviours that assist them get ahead.
Below are some good websites on teaching your kids about money.
- From ASIC – the MoneySmart website
- From the Commonwealth Bank – Teaching your kids about money
- Radio National ‘Life Matters’ radio program (and podcast) about Kids and Cash
3. A bit of smart saving to help improve your children’s financial future
It is amazing how just a little bit of saving, starting when each child is born, can provide an education advantage for your children. If you can save $100/month, by the time your kids are at university-age, you’ll be able to give them a real boost. If you can save more than that – you might be able to pay for a university degree.
For young people getting started in their careers, education costs can really slow-down their independence and success. And the Government is making education more expensive for young people. What will it cost in another eighteen years?!
Saving for your kids’ education helps erase those worries. When you start saving, there are a lot of options and some possible tax breaks as well.
- Choice.com.au has an interesting guide to saving for your children’s education.
- If you look on Google for “education savings plans” you’ll find additional information.
Do your homework carefully before you get started – but here’s the most important thing: Just starting is the hard part – once the savings habit is started, most people don’t even notice the difference. However, if you put off education savings for a year, the final amount is much lower. Even if you can only afford a little bit to start with – get started!
1 The University of Minnesota has more details about this research. ABC News (US) on Raising Responsible Children.