Fostering smart use of money and wise investment tips in youngsters can help them manage money more successfully as they grow older. Recent trends in financial literacy show that some variables, including age, gender and level of education, can effect the likelihood that a person will feel confident about his economic future.
Battle of the sexes
Northwestern Mutual commissioned a study to see how American adults planned for financial fitness, focusing on long-term goals and asking how secure participants felt with their current level of preparedness for the future. Overall, more than half of the respondents felt they needed of assistance to handle their monetary concerns, but there were other distinctions indicating that gender may play a more important role.
The study showed that women were about 10 percent more likely to want help with financial planning than men, despite the fact that women tended to have higher levels of education and were more likely to take charge of the household finances.
Despite the fact that women may feel less secure, the research showed that they were more likely than men to have funds set aside specifically for emergencies, take financial investment advice and proceed with caution when choosing monetary growth strategies.
Getting men involved
No matter what impetus fueled these figures, many believe fathers need to take a more active role in the financial education of their children.
Since the Northwestern study showed that men aren't as likely to feel they need assistance with financial planning, they may not ask for information about savings plans for college, retirement and life insurance, assuming they already know all the available options. It isn't essentially bad to be confident, as teaching children how to be savvy with finances and rely on their own decision-making skills can be beneficial. However, though one must always know when they need to seek out financial tips.
"Raising kids comes with plenty of financial responsibility," said BMO Financial's Brad Smith. "Parents can ensure a stable future for the next generation…with some education, planning and preparation."
Some start educating individuals about the value of the dollar at young ages. The Boys and Girls Clubs of America have started a Financial Literacy program, according to the Salt Lake Tribune, offering real-life lessons on how easy it is to lose track of spending and the challenges of financial planning.
The program teaches kids how to save money, create a budget and determine the difference between something they want to have and other things they need to buy. They also to start a small-scale business and get practice managing inventory and expenses. Additionally, there were lessons on how to plan for college and invest in the future, tools that may be vital for the 8- to 18-year-old age range the program targets.
"They got a pretty good idea how much your annual income affects your daily spending and just how thrifty you should be," said the program's director Stephanie Linton. "To them, $10,000 a year sounds like a lot of money, but when they looked at how much groceries cost and rent costs, they saw just how fast it goes. It really shocked them."