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More Than a Piggy Bank

“The earlier we can get young adults to learn about what budgets and savings, the better. I think we are all guilty of not paying enough attention to financial education at one point or another—not teaching our kids the value of what they have and how to manage that,” Shaun Eddy, CEO of the Oxford Planning Group says of the lapses in early financial literacy. Eddy believes neglecting to have a financial plan or understand what that means is what is missing from financial literacy. Explaining financial security and its concepts does not have to be complicated. “For example, I give a child $20 and ask, ‘What are you gonna spend it on?’ Give them the idea early that it isn’t necessarily responsible to spend all of their money on wants. Start with something simple: 50 percent goes to needs, 30 percent goes to wants, and 20 percent goes into savings. Even if you don’t have money for significant savings, you can learn to track expenses and eventually get an idea of your financial goals.”

When starting the learning process, it is important to have a basic idea of income versus expenses. Another step missing from literacy education is neglecting to have a financial plan. Eddy encourages families to have the retirement talk early. "The earlier children and young adults understand the benefits of early and frequent saving, the better. Tips for Teens to Earn Money *Find basic employment. “All the old tricks work: wage jobs, gigs and odd jobs like babysitting and shoveling can contribute to significant savings over time.

*Reach out to businesses with internship opportunities. Get the experience whether paid or unpaid. The advantages of networking this way can not be overstated.

*Learn how to get a job: “Teach your children how to interview, make phone calls. and introduce themselves. Start savings accounts for your kids, so they get used to putting money away. Perhaps even a basic investment account to teach them how to make their money work for them.”

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