JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - You've heard the saying "money doesn't grow on trees." With tough economic times many have been struggling to stay afloat. But to get back on the road to recovery it's important to teach even the youngest members of your family the value of a dollar.
"Young children learn very, very early how to get what they want," says Garry Patterson with Clear Point Counseling. But it start with the parents, "Your children are going to watch you, and you're going to teach them how to manage money whether you realize it or not," Patterson emphasizes.
He says the first thing parents will want to do is set limits. "Give children a spending allowance to teach them the perception of limits so that when the money's gone they must stop spending."
There are several website's now like Famzoo.com and Zefty.com that help teach kids about spending and solid work ethics. Mom and dad is the bank, and children are responsible for managing different accounts. "Teach them at an early age spend money, but save money, and also share your money." says Patterson.
And set goals whether short or long term, "If they learn at a young age that you don't have to save for anything and you get it right away that teaches them instant gratification." So the saving aspect is crucial. "They'll save money, they'll tend to grow up and save for those larger purchases."
"He knows about money, he know about toys, how to spend money he's got that all down." says Kristie Hardin, who has a nine-year-old brother. But she says he knows when the money is tight. "He understands that with pressures and the way everything is going that you got to cut back and know where to spend your money."
Making money management a big step to the road to recovery, "We have people that come in that have very low incomes at some times, but because they are good money managers they are much more likely to survive during tough economic times," says Patterson.
Patterson even emphasizes the concept in schools with a program called C.A.S.H. which stands for cash and spending habits. "We have students represent different parts of the budget, but we teach them not only to have enough money to live off of but to save and in the process we also teach them the dangers of using credit and how very expensive that can be."
If you would like Clear Point Credit Counseling to come out for a budget presentation just call 1-877-877-1995