A day at Vanguard gave me the dots to talk to my family about money.

by Alison on September 24, 2013

Do you talk to your family about money?  Start at an early age to talk to your children about managing their own money, and talk to your spouse about how you both manage your money. It’s not an easy topic, but an important topic for families.

I attended a conference titled, Family and Finance, Connecting the Dots held at Vanguard’s headquarters. The topics sounded a bit scary to me, but as the conference topics were covered I felt relaxed, maybe even relieved about the thought of talking about money. How do you feel about talking about money? Do you talk to your children about Saving, Spending, Sharing, and Investing their money.

The speakers covered the topics of Principles For Investing, Juggling Multiple Financial Goals, College
Saving Choices,  and Reaching Your Retirement.
Let’s just say I took a lot of notes. You can visit Vanguard’s blog to learn more about these topics. You don’t need to log in or have an account number-just head over to http://vanguardblog.com/  for this free resource.

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Highlights of the conference:

Do you talk to your family about Saving, Spending, Sharing, and Investing?

Talk to your kids when they are young about saving, spending, sharing, and investing their money. Money that they get as gifts, or earn can be divided into 4 similar containers marked with these four labels: Saving, Spending, Sharing , and Investing.  Make it an art project by decorating four like  containers with lids, cut a slit in the lid for adding money.  Talk about each group with your child. If your child or family is saving for something special they want, a family vacation, a swimming pool, or swing set-make a motivation board to keep focused on the goal, and track your savings.

Free resources

1. Make a life ticker on https://mylifeticker.com/  by adding all the things you like to do and places you like to go. What do you want to do, what are you saving for? What is important to you in life? Create a life ticker and keep it all in one place. From a walk in the woods to a walk during your  dream vacation, you can write it all down in your life ticker. Share your interests, hobbies, and likes on a ticker you make and manage.

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2. My Classroom Economy:

This is a super cool program for grades k-12. It’s a free program for schools. Share this web site with your child’s school/teacher. You can download materials here: http://www.myclassroomeconomy.org.  Students earn “money” by doing jobs in the classroom. they also pay bills and learn how to save for something they really want, and how to invest their money. This program simulates real life so kids can learn how to manage their money.

 3. Make a financial Inventory:

Round up a binder and make a list of all your accounts, investments, assets, liabilities, financial advisor, attorney and other important contact information your family should have. Keep a copy of your will, birth certificates, funeral plans, and anything else you feel is important to keep in the binder. Label the binder and keep it in a safe place where your family can use it if need be.

Have the talk. Talk to your kids about money, talk to our spouse about money and communicate with your family about your financial inventory.

The conference finished with a pretty dessert and  my thoughts on how to connect the dots with my family. It’s time to have the talk.

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  Disclosure: I was given materials and a gift card for my travel and childcare to attend this conference. The comments and views are my own.

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