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    You’ve heard it before. You need to start them young if you want your kids to understand how money should be spent and saved. But at what age exactly? Former investment banker now money management coach Rose Fres Fausto says she started her three boys, who are now in their 20s, when they were in diapers. 

    “We opened a savings account for each of them as soon as they were born,” Fausto recalled during the launch of Security Bank’s Smart Saver Kiddie Camp. “We also invested their money in stocks like Jollibee, Ayala Land, and Meralco.”

    When each of her sons reached first grade Fausto asked them to note everything they did with their allowance on an Excel sheet. Initially, the boys refused to spend a single peso to save all their allowance, but that changed as they grew older. The experience gave them the confidence to manage their own money and do stock picking on their own. 

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    Fausto, who is married to Marvin, the founding president of the Fund Managers Association of the Philippines (FMAP), says any financial literacy needs to come from parents first. Spouses must share the same money values so they can be consistent on their kids’ education. Once they’re on the same page, they can shape their child to have a positive and healthy attitude towards money. Here are Fausto’s seven tips on how you can begin.   

    1 Teach the difference between needs and wants 
    It’s a lesson even us, the grown-ups, are still learning sometimes. If your kids find the difference vague, Fausto suggests you tell them this: “Wants can be delayed. Needs should never be sacrificed to buy wants.” 

    2 Train them them to be regular and automatic savers 
    With Fausto, she did it with the Excel sheet that she made sure her kids filled up everyday. For preschoolers, you could do money jars, one for spending and another for saving. For older kids, you can use this sample of daily income and expense tracking sheet. Fausto imposed on her kids to save 20 percent of their allowance. “You already set aside the 20 percent applies before expenses, not after.” 

    3 Go beyond saving, and invest for growth 
    Fausto used her skills as investment banker by putting the money her kids received in stocks. For parents who may intimidated by the idea of stocks, Fausto recommends unit investment trust funds that you can invest in with just P10,000. “The best place to know more about it and where you can avail is your bank.” 

    4 Make everyday things teachable moments 
    Fausto says she shows her kids the utility bills, and “there’s no such thing as free cell phone load.” She also wrote a children's story called The Retelling Of The Richest Man In Babylon, a book that aims to give "kids a head start on the basic laws of money." You can watch a preview below.

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    5 Teach them the value of hard work 
    Challenge them with a summer job, Fausto says. One summer her kids asked to be enrolled in dance workshops. Fausto instead asked them to put up their own dance workshop. “It was hard with all the coordination, the marketing…but they did it and I was very proud of them.” 

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    6 Teach them how to make a balance sheet 
    Grown-ups should, of course, learn it beforehand. The above work sheet in item 2 above should be able to help him. Fausto also adds, "You need to explain to your kids what are his assets--what he owns--and his liabilities--basically how he will fund his assets."

    7 Cut the financial umbilical cord once they graduate from college. 
    Let’s admit it. As Filipinos, we tend to coddle (yes, with an ‘o’) our kids even when they’re already working and especially when they’re still living with us. In other countries, parents often cut financial ties with their kids when they turn 18 years old. Fausto says Filipinos need to let go especially when their kids are 35 years old. We can’t teach our kids how to be responsbile with money if we don’t let go. All we can do is be confident that we were able to teach them the right money values. So begin today.

    Rose Fres Fasuto will be one of the speakers for Security Bank's Smart Saver Kiddie Camp, a series of workshops designed to teach kids how to save and manage money. Call Security Bank Customer Service at 887-9188 or email Christine Cabusora at MCabusora@SecurityBank.com.ph. Register for the workshop at Security Bank online.

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