One of the most difficult things for parents is to talk to their kids about money. As we get closer to Father’s Day, perhaps one of the things you’ve got on your mind is how to impart lessons on your kids regarding money. We got to sit down with financial guru Randell Tiongson, dad of two girls and two boys, and here’s his take on teaching his kids about money:
There was even a time when they asked why we wouldn’t travel abroad. When they would compare our situation with others, I’d tell them that we’re different and that every family is unique.
While your kids were growing up, what was your first advice to them?
What was very important for me, especially when they were growing up, was the concept of delayed gratification. It’s normal to hear “I want this, I want that” from kids asking to get the things they want, but my wife and I taught our kids that there’s a right time for everything.
Then, I also taught them the significance of priorities. Di’ba as a dad, you need to provide and secure their future. I remember when my kids were younger, my girls used to compare themselves with cousins and friends asking, “Bakit si ganoon ganito, ganyan”. There was even a time when they asked why we wouldn’t travel abroad. When they would compare our situation with others, I’d tell them that we’re different and that every family is unique. They had to understand that we had our own priorities, and these priorities were roof over our heads, food on the table, clothing on our backs, and for us to be able to send our children school. We made sure that these things were covered first so they never had to worry about these things. Later on, they learned how to appreciate these things we provide them and the practices that we shared.
Also, I taught them the value of hard labor, that you have to work for money. We always tell our children that money doesn’t grow on trees and that they have to work for it. Unlike the common Filipino family structure, I’ve been keen on telling them that they do not need to worry about us in the future since we’re preparing for retirement. All they need to focus on is their own future and we’ll take care of ours.
Have you discussed a separation of obligations for your working children?
If they’re already working, they have to shoulder any expense outside the house. Anything that’s being used at home, I still provide for it. But now, they pay for their own telephone bills, their expenses when they hang out, and all the things they buy for themselves.
How do financial experts raise their kids?
Same. We go through the same problems, same things. Some non-financial experts can probably do better in raising their kids. It’s all about discipline. Financial experts are more behavioral and that’s all it is. When you develop the right behavior like turuan mo lang kung paano maging matipid, they’re set for life. We try not to do so much with our excess money because we want to teach our kids the value of it. On the other hand, we’re not overly close-fisted so as not to make them feel that money is more important. All we do is set the right financial behavior.
Randell Tiongson is a personal finance coach and a columnist at Philippine Daily Inquirer. Follow him on Twitter @randelltiongson and visit his website randelltiongson.com.