Money is not “Grown Folk Business”
There is a phrase many of us are all too familiar with, “stay out of grown folks business.” This phrase has kept many children obedient and innocent which allowed kids to be kids. There is an understanding that some conversations would be deemed inappropriate for children, but it seems that most if not all discussions that involved adults, especially within the black community, was grown folk business, especially money. With this perpetuating through our community, children have missed out of the concept of managing money.
For example, after a family outing and the check reaches the table parents sometimes scorn children for looking at the bill before they do or looking at it at all. This is an example of how children miss out on understanding money.
Overall, parents do not have enough conversations with their children surrounding the concept of money. There are important lessons to learn in that moment of the check. Children can find out how much things cost, what taxes are and how to deduct a tip using percentages. There is also a lesson to be drawn on why it is not good to eat out every night as opposed to making a similar meal at home.
The more frequent we talk about money around children, the better children will understand its complexities. It is vital for all children to learn from an early age.
Money is not grown folk talk. Children should be aware of household expenses, and budget allocations. They do not need to know how much you make per year if you do not want to reveal that information, but the distribution of resources is a tool that reinforces the mathematics that is learned in school and is a real world application of what’s taught.
So parents, talk with your children on the family finances. If they ask questions such as why does this cost that much or why are you spending more money here on A than B, this can serve as an opportunity to reevaluate the budget and explain to them the cost of things.
If you are an older sibling, I’ll encourage you to do the same with your younger siblings, cousins or nieces and nephews.
I understand that this may not be possible because many parents do not have budgets. They spend what they earn without a conscious effort to save. If you do not know how to create a budget, Xoolo is here to help.
Financial literacy for children starts at home, and an early age will provide understanding and confidence in their ability to manage their money. Managing money in a proficient degree — being able to set a budget, invest and save — should become as natural as chewing. Humans are not born with the knowledge of how to chew. Nonetheless, it is an essential skill parents teach. We practice every day until we chew without thinking about the mechanics of it. That’s how we should become with our finances. Practicing every day until it becomes a part of our subconscious.
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