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How to raise kids with money smarts

Parents have a responsibility to teach their children about finances—and that’s true for wealthy families and less affluent families alike.

Kids are smart enough to pick up on signals that their family may have more than others. But if the conversation stops at the benefits that money can bring, you’re missing out on important life lessons. They’re not really being taught how to be financially responsible once they leave the house and become independent. What steps can parents take to teach both sensitivity and responsibility about money?

Step 1: Find teachable moments.

It can be difficult to find time to sit down and talk specifically about wealth, but natural opportunities to teach pop up every day.

For example, you can incorporate financial responsibility into an impromptu math lesson about money: If you find something that originally cost $100 and it’s on sale for 30 percent off, you can ask kids how much the new price is—and, now that they are only spending $70, what ...

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