2020 had its ups and downs; but, one thing is certain: It’s a great year to teach children a few important values. End this frustrating era by focusing on two often-forgotten virtues . . . sharing and saving.
When life sails along smoothly, it’s hard for anyone to imagine tougher times. Most of us rarely need to worry about having enough money to buy food for our families or make monthly mortgage or rent payments. Every year, our children take for granted birthday parties with plenty of presents; maybe, a pinata full of candy and prizes. Our kids compile their annual Christmas lists without the slightest doubt that Santa will come through for them.
2020 was a year, however, when faith in family traditions didn’t fare so well for some. As coronavirus raged on, thousands of people were put out of work, or left earning less on whatever jobs they could find. Others got sick. Some families are now facing harsh reality. Not everyone will have happy holidays.
Set new priorities: Share with others and save for tougher times
As holidays approach in these unprecedented times, even children know that nothing will be business as usual this year. That’s why 2020 is the ideal time to talk to kids of all ages about two of life’s most important values: sharing and saving.
Share your blessings. If your family is one of the lucky few mostly untouched by the pandemic, this is the right season to encourage your kids to be thankful . . . and share their good fortune. Rather than asking them, “What do you want for Christmas?” start a conversation on how they could help make other children happy this year. Suggest a few ways to show they care through actions like these:
- Select some toys they rarely use and take them to thrift shops or resale stores.
- Do a few chores to earn money to donate to local churches or agencies that help feed families.
- Put together a holiday basket of food and gifts for a less fortunate family in the neighborhood.
Save for ‘rainy days.’ Stress to children and teens the value of saving some of their money to be prepared for tough financial times, such as the current pandemic. Suggest that they start the routine of putting away at least 10 percent of every penny that comes their way. If your kids get cash gifts from grandparents, aunts or uncles, take them along to the bank to open accounts to deposit their savings. Habits that start in childhood, like giving to others and good financial planning, last a lifetime.
Manage Your Money . . . financial facts for a brighter future provided by Advancd Asset Management LLC
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Ronald Van Surksum, CFP
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