Give your kids information about the financial products and services they’ll encounter after leaving home. Prepare your kids for dealing with the financial marketplace once they grow up and live independently from you. Inform them about such financial concepts as credit cards, checking and savings accounts, ATMs, insurance (auto, home, health and life), mortgages, Social Security, and mutual funds and other investments.

Assign a portion of your family’s financial resources to each child to manage on his or her own. When each of your children reaches sixth grade, give them a monthly salary that becomes theirs to manage. Set an amount that is at least enough to cover each kid’s monthly expenses for which you would normally pay out of your own pocket (from clothing and school lunches to birthday party gifts and comic book purchases). As your child grows older, increase the monthly salary amount to gradually turn over more responsibility and prepare him or her for becoming financially independent of you as an adult.  Give your child a list of specific items that are now his or her responsibility to pay for, using the monthly allowance. Then give your child the freedom to make his or her own spending decisions, as long as he or she respects your family’s values and rules. Require your child to give away 10 percent of his or her monthly salary – soon after receiving it, to whatever organization or people in need that your child chooses – and also to save or invest 10 percent of the monthly salary in a bank or investment vehicle that you approve. As your kids make their own financial decisions each month, they’ll grow in both wisdom and confidence. You can then take them off the salary plan after they graduate from high school and require them to get a job to pay for their expenses while in college and later.

Adapted from Raising Financially Confident Kids, copyright 2012 by Mary Hunt. Published by Revell Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich.,  

Mary Hunt is an award-winning and bestselling author, syndicated columnist and sought-after motivational speaker who created a global platform that is making strides to help men and women battle the epidemic impact of consumer debt. She is founder and publisher of the interactive website Debt-Proof Living, which features financial tools, resources, and information for her online members. Her books have sold more than a million copies and her daily newspaper column is nationally syndicated through Creators Syndicate, and is enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of Everyday Cheapskate readers. Hunt speaks widely on personal finance and has appeared on shows such as Good Morning America, Oprah, Dr. Phil, and Focus on the Family. She and her husband live in California.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a contributing writer and the editor of’s site on angels and miracles, at: Contact Whitney at: to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer

Publication date: July 11, 2012