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Teaching your kids to be money-savvy
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The Dzurays of Columbia, Md., have used the topic of financial responsibility to instill a sense of gratitude and charity in their two young children. Hadley Dzuray, age 9, is planning to organize her own separate tables at the family's garage sale to sell her belongings.

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"She's already decided that she is going to donate all the money to the Johns Hopkins Children's Center," says her mother, Jodi Dzuray. She has made donations to the hospital in the past, and Johns Hopkins seems to be her charity of choice -- and for good reason. Her younger brother, Jon, was diagnosed several years ago with leukemia. Jon is now cured after receiving a bone marrow transplant from Hadley.

Beacham, also known nationally as "Mrs. Money," agrees that this is the perfect age to really grab children's attention about social goodwill and giving back to the community. "It's like teaching children good hygiene. If we get them to start thinking about others at a young age, just like we teach them how to brush their teeth and pick out their clothes, it will become a way of life for them," she says.

Ages 13-18
Some teenagers are mature enough to handle more advanced money-management strategies. For example, Griffin taught her son Evan, now a student at UCLA, and daughter Elise, a high school junior, how to budget for clothing, spending money, school supplies and other necessaries for an entire year's time through the use of a Visa Buxx card. Visa Buxx works in stores like a regular credit card, but it's actually a prepaid card.

Parents decide how much money should be loaded onto the card and can use the Visa Buxx Web site to monitor their teen's spending habits. This offers teens financial independence within the safe and structured limits imposed by parents.

"We agreed on how much money should be put on their card and what types of expenses they would be responsible for," Griffin says. Griffin's son used his Visa Buxx card until he left for college and now uses a debit card. The process was seamless for him because of his prior experience with successfully managing his Visa Buxx. "Now he has both a debit and a credit card and manages them successfully, but I'm not sure that all kids at his age are ready for that," Griffin says.

As society becomes more consumer driven and children are bombarded with endless advertising, teaching money management has become a critical part of parenting today. Using some of these techniques will help your child learn how to manage money and become a more financially responsible adult.

Bankrate.com's corrections policy-- Posted: Oct. 7, 2005
 
 
 
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