Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Parent to Parent: Economy
You hear the bad news every day, the economy in turmoil and people losing their jobs. Parents have to wonder how all the buzz affects their kids and what they should tell them about what's going on. In tonight's Parent to Parent, we've got great financial advice for kids and parents. Seven's Lynn Martinez has the story.
WSVN -- Sharon Harvey Rosenberg: "Our last bill was $476."
Showing the kids the household bills is what Sharon Harvey Rosenberg likes to call a little dose of reality.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg: "This is what we paid for the electric bill. That's one reason why we want to turn off all the lights, look how much it is."
Sharon is a big believer in telling it like it is and giving her kids lessons in budgeting and responsible spending during these tough economic times.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg: "I don't want my kids to have scars. Oh, my God, the world is changing, the world is uncertain. But you do want them to be able to balance a checkbook, to look at a deal and figure out it it's a good deal and to learn how to save."
Sharon's a pro at saving. After all, she's written a book about it called the "Frugal Duchess: How to Live Well and Save Money."
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg: "The idea is just to pay attention and figure out where the money is going and how you can cut back."
Dr. Val agrees. She says the more kids understand about money, the better.
Dr. Valerie Goode: "You have a structure for them, and within that structure your child will feel very safe no matter how old they are. It's the lack of control, and the feeling that the world is falling apart that scares everybody.
In the meantime, use the economic crisis as an excuse to teach kids financial fundamentals.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg: "There is no such thing as too young. As soon as your child understands the concept of money, he or she has to understand the concept of how much there is and how much there is not. It's very concrete."
Dr. Val says if your child works or gets an allowance, teach them to divide the profits into portions. Some to spend, some to save and some to give to charity. Negotiating is a good skill to have, too.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg: "If you really need this hat, if you really want this hat, maybe you could save up for it or maybe we could split it. Would you want to pay halfsies with me?"
Advice the Rosenbergs take to heart. Even a trip to the store usually turns into a lesson on getting the most for your money.
Sharon Harvey Rosenberg: "OK, Gaby, look at this unit price. This Kiss is great, nice big chocolate Kiss? Fifty-seven cents per ounce? Look at this one. They're 44 cents per ounce. What's a better deal?"
Smart lessons that will stay with them long after this economic crisis is over.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Dr. Valerie Goode
The Frugal Duchess