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Students Get Lesson in Personal Finance

(NBCNews) During a half-day simulation at the Junior Achievement Finance Park, students get a randomly assigned life situation and have to develop a budget.

piggyThe Finance Park offers a half-day simulation for students. There are sixteen mini-businesses at the park – like insurance agents, realtors and banks – and students have to develop a budget based on a randomly-assigned life situation.

Directors say “it’s never too early to learn about financial success.”

Amen!  We need to start our kids off early, learning the importance of managing money and being financially responsible.  Unfortunately many of us do not lead by example when it comes to managing our money.

In an article I wrote back in January for DebtHelper.com, I reminded you that “…kids learn what they live.  You as a parent are your kid’s most influential teacher and if you have a big pile of stinky debt and bad credit, that is what your kids will see as normal.  If you are setting a financially irresponsible example you can’t expect your kids to do as you say, not as I do.” And this advice still holds true.

It is a pleasant surprise to see schools embracing the opportunity to educate children about saving, spending and the responsible handling of money.  Most parents give it no thought and then wonder why their kids throw a fit every time they tell them that they can’t have something.

If you have not started to teach your kids the importance of managing money the time to start is now.  If you are at a loss for how to start here are a few suggestions to get you going on teaching your children about money and to foster positive attitudes and habits:

Talk to your kids. Talk about how you earn money and how you plan to spend it. When you take your child to the grocery store, explain why you are purchasing what you are purchasing.

Be a good role model. Like I said before, your kids will learn to manage money by watching you, not by what they hear you say.

Encourage good values. Teach your children the value of hard work and teach them responsibility. Teach them delayed gratification by letting them save towards a goal of a new bike or video game; let your kids know that even you have things you want but cannot have.

Set limits. Even if you are able to buy your child everything she asks for, keep from spoiling them and being overindulgent.

Learn to say no. When they are begging for that candy bar at the checkout counter, make sure you are able to say no. Suggest that they bring their money when you go to the store for just such a purchase.

Give your child an allowance. Whether or not it is tied to chores, that’s up to you. Be sure to give them some general guidelines on how to spend and save it.

Teach them to give. Let your kids experience the joy of sharing with others.

There are many helpful resources for teaching children money-management skills, a simple Google search will turn up a plethora of resources to get you started.

If you are having problems of your own managing your money and your debt, you might want to seek the advice of a debt management professional.

The professionals at DebtHelper.com can explain the benefits of a debt management program and provide you with a fresh start.

One of the biggest long-term benefits of the debt management plan is the reduction in interest. Reduced interest allows you to pay off your principal balances faster while saving you possibly thousands of dollars in finance charges.

In order to determine if you are eligible for a debt management program, you can fill out an online budget application form now and then you can contact one of their Certified Personal Finance Counselors© at (800) 920-2262.

DebtHelper.com can currently accept clients from the states listed here. DebtHelper.com is licensed, insured and complies with all state licensing requirements to ensure mandated regulations are followed. They are diligently working on becoming licensed in every state and are opening new states monthly.

Please call (800) 920-2262 if you have any questions. DebtHelper.com’s consultations are free, call them any time.

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