What about allowances — should you tie them to chores? More than half of parents support tying allowances to chores, according to a survey conducted by Mint.com.2 Nancy Fahmy, head of the Investment Solutions Group at Bank of America, started her daughter on an allowance tied to chores, like making her bed and cleaning her room, at age 10. Chandler ties her children’s allowances to chores as well, saying that “it helps to instill the value that you have to work for things you want.” When she lends her children money over and above their chores-linked allowance — say, for an activity like going to the movies with their friends — she’ll charge interest, creating another teachable financial moment.
The resources below can help you start conversations about money with your children. Use them to create your own teachable moments. (For more suggestions, check out this “Financial Education Handbook: Practical Ideas to Engage the Rising Generation,” from Merrill.)
Those conversations will change and become more complex as your children grow, and at some point, your financial advisor may be able to provide resources and guidance as well. But getting started early is key. “Motherhood is a journey and raising your children to be financially responsible is part of that,” notes Kristen Dugan, Chief Supervisory Officer, Merrill Wealth Management. Thinking back on her own childhood, Auerbach-Rodriguez recalls, “Early experiences made me who I am.”