April is the official National Financial Literacy Month in the United States. But let’s face it, with income tax finished, we already have money on the mind. What a perfect opportunity to draw our children and teenagers into conversations about earning money and managing finances. Convey your money-management strengths; humbly discuss your challenges; share many of your family’s financial decisions and general goals; and work alongside your child’s TVI to prepare your son or daughter for financial independence.
Take time to debunk these common financial myths your child may believe:
Myth #1: I can’t have a stable, “good” job as an adult because I am blind or visually impaired.
This is far from reality! As an adult with vision loss, your son or daughter will use job accommodations to perform job functions, and can be successful in just about any career. Show them CareerConnect’s Our Stories section as proof!
Myth #2: Mom and dad will bail me out if I overspend.
Not so fast! If your child is on track for full-time work, he should assume he will be responsible for the income it takes to support himself, including paying off accrued debt. Your high expectations of your child’s financial independence will provide the momentum needed to prepare for gainful employment.
Myth #3: I need the same expensive lifestyle as my friends.
Not true! Others may have larger incomes or spend their incomes differently and choose to live in a more spacious home, indulge in exotic vacations, drink Starbucks daily, and own the latest technology. Your adult son or daughter will only be responsible for earning, spending, and saving his or her money wisely. Living within a budget will mean living without some “wants”; that should be anticipated.
Myth #4: I have the money for it, so I can afford it.
I wish! Your child will need to understand a basic budget, say for instance the “50/30/20 rule” where 50% of an income is spent on needs, 30% is spent on wants, and 20% is spent on financial goals. He will need your help recognizing the importance of saving for emergencies, future needs, and retirement. If he spends all the money he earns, he will be penniless. Why not use the Money Management lesson series to train your teenager in budgets and more?
Myth #5: When it comes to finances, I’ll be fine “winging” it.
Not hardly! When it comes to managing finances wisely, it’s important to set goals and personal limits. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of debt without understanding the financial loss of interest and it’s too easy to neglect savings.
Now is the time to educate our children on money management and prepare them for financial independence.