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Starting Life Down $50K

By Jason Bottlinger on October 22, 2017

What happens when parents don’t teach their kids how to handle money? Something like this…

Charles was a sharp kid. He was popular at school and enrolled in gifted classes. He was a varsity member of the football team and had a dreamboat beauty of a girlfriend. He was creative and wrote sketches and short plays for theater class. He played guitar and wrote songs and was a genuinely kind person. A Renaissance man. He was the kind of kid that teachers and older relatives and friends’ parents were all excited to see where life was going to take him.

His family wasn’t wealthy, so it was easy to understand how tempting the credit card offers in the student union looked to him. That quick and easy way to give a starving college student a little relief. Charles quickly maxed a card out, and the other credit card companies were eager to sign him up with another. Then another. Then another.

All the while, his student loan debts were mounting with each new semester. Then the credit card companies denied him. Charles had to drop out in his fourth year and get a job. He always intended to go back to school, but never did.

He left college 12 hours short of attaining his degree and nearly $50,000 in debt, a number that will continue to grow with interest, and that he’ll potentially carry with him for the rest of his life. Welcome to adulthood, Charles.

This crippling debt may have been averted if his parents had taught him how to handle money.

Sadly, this is all too common. It is incumbent on parents to guide their children into adulthood, and understanding personal finance is a fundamental part of that guidance. With the plethora of data available online, there’s no excuse not to teach kids about money.

You can incorporate your child’s education into your weekly trip to the grocery store by clipping coupons and looking for the best bargains together. Make time to involve your child with paying bills and plant the seeds for the concept of budgeting. As they get into their mid-teens, you can teach them about the stock market—perhaps you can learn about it together.

Financial freedom is paramount to having a happy, successful life. It’s never too early to get your child involved with money and teach him or her the value of good credit. At Bottlinger Law, L.L.C., we can help guide you through any legal issues you may have regarding your child’s financial future. Call us today at (402) 505-8234 to set up a free consultation.

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