AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — We live in a world that is becoming more and more cashless as internet sales, credit/debit card use and cellphone purchasing continues to grow.
But did you ever stop to think what it is teaching our children?
UB researchers fear it could be setting kids up for future financial problems as adults.
“Money should not be a taboo subject for parents and kids,” explained Dr. Christine Wang, PhD, Director of the Fisher-Price Endowed Early Childhood Research Center on the UB North Campus.
Dr. Wang fears young kids are getting the wrong ideas by thinking ATM’s are magic machines that dispense money and online purchasing means just picking out what you want and pushing a button.
While Dr. Wang said financial literacy taught in schools is helpful, she believes it has less impact than parents explaining how money is used in everyday situations.
Here are tips for parents from the UB Early Childhood Research Center:
-Start explaining how money works and bills paid when children are pre-school age.
-When purchasing with a credit card or online, explain how the money needs to be paid back.
-Make sure to show children currency and explain how it is used.
-When getting a cash withdrawal from an ATM, make sure to explain how the money needs to be in the account first.
-Most importantly, use the principal of ‘delayed gratification' where something needs to be earned through work or savings before it is bought.
-Have your kids earn an allowance and encourage them to save up. Make children realize that it can take time to earn enough money to get something they really want.
-Use everyday examples of shopping and buying gasoline to reinforce how parents pay for things with the money they earn.
Financial problems plague many Americans currently with polls showing only about 1/3 of Americans (32%) keep a household budget.
In addition, the website debt.com said studies show that only 30% of Americans have a long-term financial plan that includes savings and investment goals.
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly takes a closer look at the role parents play in making sure a child understands money so they can someday 'Make Ends Meet.'