About a year ago, I made the decision to begin focusing on my finances, and specifically my debt, because my teens and me needed to change the way we dealt with our money. My teens began working, and one was about to start college, and I overheard her and her friend talking about being able to get a credit card. I was instantly concerned because as I thought back to my own Freshman year in college. I hadn’t made it 60 days on campus before I had signed up for a Discover card.
I print budget Excel sheets and display them in our livingroom. I gave them printed copies of blank budget sheets to practice with. I talk to them about my debt and my pay off plan. I explain how their tuition payments fit into the larger household budget and how that will mean increasing financial responsibilities for them with each year of college that is completed. My teens and me talk about wanting to take family trips and how we should budget to accomplish that goal.
Sometimes I worry that I am sending them out into the world not fully prepared. There is so much to learn about personal finance - I am still learning myself. But I am comforted by the fact that I still have their ear for a few more years.
And I intend to make that time count!