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Teach your kids about money: 9 dos and don’ts

Most Americans don’t have a rainy day fund, haven’t saved enough for retirement, and aren’t prepared to fund their children’s college education, according to a 2009 survey from the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. How can we prevent future generations from making the same mistakes? Teach kids about money. The US Department of Education has teamed up with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and National Credit Union Administration to promote financial literacy in schools across the country. Parents have a role, too. Here are nine do’s and don’ts to get your children started

Talk with your children about money early on to give them a head start on self-sufficiency and responsibility, says child personal finance expert Karyn Hodgens.
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1. DO: Have the conversation

The biggest money mistake parents can make is not talking about it with their kids, says Karyn Hodgens, a mother, co-founder of Kidnexions, a website for children’s personal finance in Rocklin, Calif., and author of “Raised for Richness: Teaching Kids Money Skills for Life.” “It’s one of the most important things to teach our kids, so that they can become self-sufficient, responsible, and productive later on.”

Parents don’t have to be financial experts to teach the basics: the importance of saving, budgeting and goal setting. Nor should parents ever forget that their actions, regarding money and everything else, serve as constant examples for their offspring.

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