The new year marks a time of reflection and for a lot of us, resolutions. Conveniently enough, the new year follows a spend-happy time and allows us to take a good hard look at our financials. Surprisingly enough, at seven, I didn’t have this same mindset. But, why not? I remember learning how to count money in school, but I don’t remember being taught the value of saving, giving, and smart spending. Arguably, the recent economic state dictates I’m not the only one. My parents taught me the importance of being debt free, owning my own home and living the American dream. I think that’s what most parents want for their children.
Instilling the values of smart spending, saving, and giving at a young age can truly pave the path to future financial independence. Nicole Anderson, trustee of LBCF and successful estate planning and business law attorney grew up with that exact structure. When Nicole received allowance or some birthday money, she faced a very important decision. Do I save the money for my dream bike? Do I spend the money on my trip to the store today? Or do I donate the money to the aquarium that I just visited with my parents?
- Set Up Goals: Instill the importance of creating S.M.A.R.T goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. Review progress and set milestones for giving, spending, and saving.
- Interest – The Good and The Bad: Add a percentage monthly interest to the savings jar. Teach kids the value of savings and have them calculate the interest they’ve earned at the end of each month. Conversely, if you lend them money, use that as an opportunity to teach them the expense of borrowing.
- Match their GIVE: Promote philanthropy and encourage young people to learn about their community and the world. Volunteer locally and help educate them on where their donations are going.
For more information on a Donor Advised Fund, please contact the Laguna Beach Community Foundation.
Contributed By: Rachel Lindsay, LBCF Associate Project Coordinator