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  • Setting Financial Priorities

    Posted on April 4th, 2011 Patricia No comments

    You already know how important it is to make sure that you and your partner are on the same financial wavelength. What you might not realize, however, is how important it is that your children share the same financial goals. Of course, some items in the family budget aren’t up for discussion: You have to make your mortgage payments and car payments, like it or not. Where kids can have a say, however, is in how the family chooses to spend its discretionary income.
    Here are some tips on getting your kids involved in setting financial goals for your family:

    Have a family brainstorming session. Ask your kids to help you come up with a wish list of all the things they’d like to do with any extra income that’s available: trips they’d like to take, items they’d like to buy, and so on. (Remember: When you’re brainstorming, write down all of the ideas that people contribute – good, bad and ugly!)

    Be frank with your kids about what’s possible and what’s not. Let them know what items on the wish list you can and can’t afford, at least in the short run.

    Make sure your kids understand that trade-offs are always involved when you’re working toward a particular goal. For example, if you eat dinner at home rather than dining out in a restaurant once a week, you might be able to save enough money to fly out to visit Grandma next summer.

    Look for ways to deliver the same bang for a lot less buck. While you might not be able to afford to spend a week at a resort on the other side of the country, perhaps you could afford to spend a day or two at a nearby amusement park.

    Hang a list of your financial goals on the front of the refrigerator. That way, when your kids start badgering you for money for something, you can remind them that the family is trying to set aside money for a new computer or a trip out of town.

    Getting the kids involved means getting their buy-in, and that will help reduce a lot of small, day-to-day arguments about money.

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