smart spending

Are you a social media gaming spendaholic?

Are your kids spending their college savings?
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Are your kids spending their college savings?

There is no shortage of stories of parents so addicted to FarmVille, they put their gaming before tending to kids. But what about the younger generation -- those who've had a mouse in hand and Internet access for as long as they can remember?

It isn't uncommon for kids to access their parents' credit cards or online paying accounts such as PayPal and run up bills into the thousands of dollars.

"Children are mirroring what their parents are doing," says O'Day. "They see their parents putting things on their credit cards without concern for ability to pay, and they don't see why they can't do the same."

So what's a concerned parent to do? O'Day has some ideas.

  • Engage in honest dialogue about money -- how it is earned, the rights and freedoms that come with earning it and the decisions that must be made.
  • Explain what "learning the hard way" could mean in terms of real money.
  • Become more familiar with your children's relationship with money. What does money mean to them? How are they spending it?
  • Gain clarity on how your kids want their lives to look like in the long term to help motivate them to develop good spending habits.

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