You may be thinking to yourself, “Is there something simple I can do to make sure my kids don’t move home after they move out?” In other words, make sure they grow up to be financially self-reliant. I’m here to tell you that 'Yes, there’s some relatively simple steps you can take to ensure that your kids leave your home knowing what to do with that green stuff they will be in charge of making, managing and multiplying in the future.

More young adults are not only leaving college these days because of financial problems (student loan and credit card debt) but they are also moving back home after they graduate because they simply don't make enough money to go it on their own. College students are also committing suicide because of this same debt! Why is this happening?

There are many reasons, but the primary cause is simply that kids don’t have a clue what to do with their money, or the money they are borrowing from the credit cards they are getting. Most of them are very good at spending money, but it’s a rare 20-something that understands the dangers of credit card abuse or the power of saving and investing. Most don't understand the power of leverage, creating businesses and investing in assets to produce passive income. Heck, for that matter, most adults don't understand these concepts either.

Imagine this scenario…

Your son (or daughter) comes to you one day and says, "Mom, I have decided I really want to grow up and become a major league ball player." You say, "Wow, that's cool. Good for you." And you go back to doing what you were doing. Your child looks at you and asks, "So, would it be possible for you to get me a ball to throw?" You say, "Maybe later." He says, "Well, how about a glove and a bat?" You respond, "Nah, I don't think so." He's a bit frustrated at this point and asks, "OK, but can you at least teach me the rules?" You say, "Oh, you can learn the rules later." Now he is really angry; he's fuming inside and feels stuck. Finally he gets really mad and yells, "But MOM, how am I ever going to become a great ball player if I don't have a ball, bat or glove to practice with and I don't know the rules?"

This is what parents do, some knowingly, most unknowingly, to their children everyday in regard to money. We grow them into adults but rarely give them to equipment or the rules to practice, and get good at, The Money Game!

Let’s look at the three simple steps you can take to empower your children with the tools, knowledge and practice they need to grow up and become financially free.

FIRST, you must set the best example possible you can for your child. Because human beings learn best by example, it is critical that you first examine what you're teaching your children through your actions because they really do speak louder than words. How can you expect your child to save and invest if you don’t? How can you expect your child to grow up with a healthy understanding of money if you don't have a healthy understanding of money? How can you expect your children not to use credit cards if the only way they see you buy things is with a credit card?

The important thing to remember about this point is that children learn from us three ways: by what they see us do, by what they hear us say and through the experiences we put them in with regard to money. In my book, The Ultimate Allowance, I go into these three learning avenues in detail. For now, just know that they are always watching and learning from you in ways you probably aren't even aware of.

If you're like many adults and don't understand the 'money thing' yet, you're not alone, but make a commitment to educate yourself, and sooner than later. If you don’t know how to manage your money, or start investing, and can only take a guess at how you might create Passive Income, then you must start with yourself. There are books and seminars everywhere. You have no excuse but the excuses you make to let yourself off the hook. Often we say 'We can't" when really we're saying, "We won't." A great place to start is a program called the Millionaire Mind Intensive. For more information, visit www.peakpotentials.com/a/tofreedomandbeyond.

If you’re doing a great job, congrats. Ask yourself how else you might ‘show’ your kids about money with your daily routine and don't leave your kid's friends and the neighbor kids out of the equation. Often times, kids learn better from people other than their parents so look for opportunities to teach other kids also.

SECONDLY, talk to your kids about money. Take every opportunity you can to open up a line of conversation about family expenses, credit cards, debt, interest, investing, real estate, the stock market, financial beliefs, etc. 'Your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes' is one of our Money Camp principles. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, a great book by T. Harv Eker is available on our website (http://www.creativewealthintl.org) and the adults in all of our programs rave about how it has changed their financial lives. It is also required reading for all of my coaching clients (Success Calls Coaching).

Some examples of when to talk to your kids about money are:

• When you take money out of the ATM, have a conversation about where the money comes from, why you can only take out so much, etc.
• When you pay for the groceries with your credit card to get points so the whole family can go on vacation, make sure they understand the importance of paying the bill off EVERY SINGLE MONTH!
• When you pay bills, let them help you write checks or pay the bills online. Teach them how to check the accuracy of each bill.
• When you deposit money into your bank, visit your investment advisor or accountant, take your child along.

The worst thing you can do is assume that someone else is going to teach your child about money, followed only by not talking to the child at all. What children learn from parents who don't talk about money is that talking about money isn’t OK. A healthier way to look at money is simply as a tool to reach your dreams (another Creative Wealth Principle); it doesn’t mean we’re better or thinner or smarter than others. In Camp Millionaire and Moving Out!, kids of all ages learn that money is a powerful tool, and depending on how they use it, it can help them and others or injure themselves and others in ways they may never have imagined.

THIRDLY, I want you to consider giving your child an allowance, but not the kind you may be thinking of. In my new book, The Ultimate Allowance, I talk in detail about how to take the money you already spend ON your child supporting him or her and instead, run the money THROUGH your child. I've read that it takes an average of $275,000 to raise a child through age 17. If you run even a portion of that money through your child, imagine the practice they're going to get before he or she leaves home. By making great choices, and not so great choices, they will learn the ins and outs of money management before they are out on their own and when the consequences of those poor choices aren't so damaging.

In summary, just remember that human beings learn best by example. Your children are watching every single thing you do with your money, listening to everything you say about money and internalizing all the experiences they are having with money, so pay attention to the example you are setting.

And finally… talk, talk, talk to them about anything and everything financial. It’s the best investment you can make in your child’s financial future and we promise it will ‘pay off’ in the end!

For more information about The Ultimate Allowance and Creative Wealth International and all of our unique financial literacy products and programs, including our new Wealth Rules! Financial Wisdom for Youth event (for teens and parents together), please visit www.ultimateallowancebook.com or www.creativewealthintl.org or give us a call at 800-928-1932.

Author's Bio: 

Elisabeth Donati is the Executive Director of Creative Wealth International, a nonprofit whose mission is to Empower Individuals to Create Financial Freedom in Their Lives. She is best known for empowering people to be self-reliant. She began working in fitness, nutrition, and health, yet has progressed to the realm of money and business.

Elisabeth’s interest in financial literacy began when she realized that she had not received the information she needed to become financially independent. She created Camp Millionaire among other Creative Wealth programs to foster a new sense of financial freedom among both children and adults.

Elisabeth is passionate about teaching all ages the fundamentals of money: how to think about it, how to use it to build businesses, how to maximize personal growth, and more. She is an expert at coaching women to find their greatness. With the help of Creative Wealth International, Elisabeth has been able to share her knowledge with people around the nation.

Elisabeth is also the author of the unique financial parenting book, The Ultimate Allowance.