Money Matters: Financial Concepts To Be Taught In Workshops For Kids

By BillRogers
Highlands Today, July 6, 2008

The idea is to help children learn about financial concepts, but adults — perhaps lots of them — could also benefit from the knowledge from workshops dealing with money.

A parent workshop on "The ABCs of Teaching Your Kids About Money" was held last Tuesday at the Highlands County YMCA. Two workshops involving pre-teens and teens are tentatively planned for the first week of August.

However, a parenting workshop is required before the children get involved. Primerica Financial Services, which is sponsoring the workshops, will have its employees come to any civic, school or church group to make a presentation.

The workshop was created to help parents teach their children, specifically teenagers and young adults, basic knowledge about financial concepts. There is no charge to attend.

Ginger Carlisle, regional vice president of Primerica Financial Services in Sebring, conducted the workshop. Carlisle said most people believe everything would be all right if they just had more money.

"The problem is that doesn't work," she said "You know how we know it doesn't work. Well, the first one that pops to my mind is Ed McMahon. Everybody heard about him on the news losing his house."

Carlisle noted that people need to get serious about the problem of debt. "We buy things that we don't need with money that we don't have to impress people we don't even know," Carlisle said.

The Rule of 72, which Carlisle described as the "most important rule about money," will be covered in the workshop. Whatever interest rate you are getting on your money, you divide that into 72 and that is how long it takes your money to double.

For example, if a 19-year-old starts with $2,000 in a savings account gets 2 percent interest. Divide 2 into 72 which is 36. It will take 36 years for the $2,000 to become $4,000.

"We want to teach them the difference between a need and a want," she added. "Prior to making any buying decisions, we want them to ask is this something they need, or something they want and does it make it sense.

"We are going teach them how to budget. If you learn how to budget then you will know if you can afford something or not. In my business, I see the end result of people not knowing about money. So I'm always fixing — bailing the boat out," she said.

Some of the dangerous financial examples set by parents include: living beyond their means, carrying too much debt, failing to budget, inadequate investments and not having a personalized financial game plan.

Carlisle offered some other wise financial advice:

  • "Rich people always seek assets to invest in; poor people spend money on liabilities and the middle class spends money on liabilities they think are assets. The goal is to invest in assets."
  • "People that understand interest get it, people that don't pay for it."
  • "If you can't afford to pay cash for an item, the best advice is don't buy it until you can."