Transferring money to children can be one of the most valuable financial steps parents can take.
Most of us would have heard the old saying – probably from our parents – that “money doesn’t grow on trees”.
In other words, rather than being freely available, money generally needs to be earned.
It’s still a powerful financial lesson for children, especially at a time when many household budgets are being squeezed by rising interest rates and high inflation.
Yet, there’s another side to this coin. Giving money to children can really pay off over the long term.
In fact it’s arguably one of the most valuable things parents can do to teach their children about the value of money and the financial results that could be achieved by saving and investing over the long term.
The process and timing of giving money to children is subjective. However, it makes best sense when children are at an age where parents can educate them on the role of money in terms of savings and other investments.
In the United States, October happens to be a particularly busy month in the context of giving money to children.
Each year 6 October is designated as “National Transfer Money to Your Daughter Day”, followed by “National Savings Day” on 12 October, and “National Transfer Money to Your Son Day” on 13 October.
National Savings Day, created in the late 1800s, is more generic by encouraging people of all ages to put away money for their future and be more aware of their financial goals.
National Transfer Money to Your Daughter Day, created in 2019, and National Transfer Money to Your Son Day, created in 2009, are both dedicated towards parents teaching their children basic financial skills.
These include improving children’s financial literacy, empowering them by enabling them to access and manage their own finances, and teaching them how to budget, save and make smart investments – all skills that will serve them well as they grow into adulthood.
A lot is written about the “Bank of Mum and Dad” – where parents provide funding to adult children for a range of reasons, including for major asset purchases such as a home deposit.
Transferring money to younger children is different. It may be about giving them a small financial head start, but it largely involves parents providing financial resources in order for their children to learn about saving money and investing.
Financial literacy and education should be considered a vital aspect of any parent-child money transfer process. Parents can use it as an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with their children about money management, investments, and financial planning. By imparting financial knowledge, parents can empower their children to make informed decisions about their personal finances.
Transferring money to children is also an excellent opportunity to teach them financial responsibility. Transfers can be done in the form of an allowance or monetary rewards for chores or achievements, which can be part of a regular investments strategy on their behalf.
These early lessons can be enduring by shaping their financial habits and attitudes for the rest of their lives.
In short, transferring money to children should be considered as more than just a financial transaction but an investment in their future.
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