Dennis Tew, a father of 3 boys under 7 and CFO at Franklin Templeton Investments Corp. knows that even buying popcorn at the hockey arena is a chance to teach his sons about money. When his family is cheering on Kieran (age 4) in the stands, Liam (age 6) is counting change and approaching the popcorn stand by himself. “It’s not only about counting, it helps him build his understanding of money and pushes him out of his shell too,” says Dennis.
Below are some of his tips:
1. Allowance. Encourage your child to divide their allowance: one-third for spending, one-third for saving and one-third for charitable causes. Review charities that may appeal to your child. As a savings incentive, match the amount your child is able to save.
2. Banking. Make a trip to the bank or credit union and open a savings account. Let your child fill out the deposit slip and explain how the bank will pay interest. It’s a great way to introduce the importance of saving.
3. Shopping. The grocery store is often a child’s first spending experience. Review the grocery list and how to plan purchases. In-store price comparisons are a great means to demonstrate value, quality and other consumer concerns. Encourage your child to review flyers and search for coupons for items you regularly purchase.
4. Credit cards. When using a credit card at a restaurant, explain to your child how the card works and how to calculate a tip. When your statement arrives in the mail, have your child verify the charges.
5. Investing. Review your child’s Registered Education Savings Plan statement with them and explain how the investments are performing. It’s an excellent tool to help your child learn the importance of long-term financial planning.
Dennis Tew is the father of three boys under 7 and chief financial officer at Franklin Templeton Investments Corp.