Brandon Library: 'Parents, Kids and Money Matters'
September 28, 2011 - Brandon Twp.- There are only three things that can be done with money, says Nathan Bindschatel.
Spend it, share it, or save it.
This will be the focus of "Parents, Kids, and Money Matters," a special workshop for parents and children, planned for 7-8:30 p.m., Oct. 3, at the library, 304 South St.
"As crazy as it seems, finances are not as difficult as people make them out to be," said Bindschatel, an associate with Thrivent Financial, who will lead the workshop for adults, while a partner of his from Thrivent will talk to children in a separate workshop taking place at the same time. "There are three choices—spend money, save money, or share money with someone else. The scale changes, but the concept itself does not."
The workshop is sponsored by the Brandon-Groveland Youth Assistance and the North Oakland Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. There will be no sales involved.
The program is geared for children 6 to10-years-old and their parents. Kids will receive a piggy bank divided into three sections— share, spend, and save, and the facilitator will talk about what each of those concepts means.
Bindschatel notes that nearly 30 years ago, roughly $100 million was spent on marketing to children. Today, he said, companies spend billions advertising to kids. The average child, he added, sees 40,000 television commercials per year.
"The message to every ad is spend, spend, spend," Bindschatel said. "We have to do something to counter that. Part of the conversation we will talk about values. How we spend money says a lot about who we are, so we need to make conscious decisions with how we spend money. Making people think about things can cause changes in behavior. People live beyond their means and paycheck-to-paycheck buying things they didn't need. It's not a popular conversation, but it's relevant."
Parents will receive an activity sheet to use to talk to their kids about money. Bindschatel said at this age, children don't need to be involved in how parents pay bills or what their personal financial situation is, but rather, children just need to be aware that there are financial obligations.
"It's OK to say that you are not buying that toy, because there is a house payment, a car payment, or whatever," he said. "You teach kids you don't buy the TV on credit, it's bought because it was something that was saved for. It's about making kids aware that finances are finite."
There is a section in the workshop on allowance and Bindschatel will talk about what that is and how it can work.
The number one mistake parents make about finances with children is assuming kids don't need to know anything, Bindschatel said. If parents don't teach their children about money, they will learn from someone else— including the media or marketers.
"Personal finance is just that— personal," he said. "There's no right or wrong way to do it, you just have to have some kind of plan. I don't care what your plan is, as long as you have one and aren't just winging it. If you're winging it, your kids will be winging it, too."
Register for "Parents, Kids and Money Matters" by calling 248-627-1461 or online at www.brandonlibrary.org.
Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville