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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Think there is little good news in the continuing economic bad news? Think again! According to Nicole Middendorf, CEOof Prosperwell Financial, this is a great time to teach kids that money doesn't come from cash machines or credit cards.

Middendorf says the first thing to do is realize where you are spending and investing your own money; then you can help your kids. Keeping your kids involved and having a goal that is important to them can get them excited about saving. The satisfaction they get from achieving their goals can help create good saving and spending habits for the rest of their lives.

Here are some more tips Middendorf has found to help your kids become wise in regards to money:

-Practice what you preach: Sit down together and set goals with your kids. This way they are saving towards something that matters to them, while they see you saving to achieve your goals. Explain how money works andthat it costs money to have the lights on in the house, etc.

-The earlier money lessons are learned, the better: Work with your kids as soon as they start asking for something. When you go to a cash machine, explain to your child how it works, show them your paycheck and explain how many hours you worked, how much was taken out for taxes.

-Give your children an allowance: It's not so much the dollar amount you're giving them, it is the underlying principles and the money memories your instilling in your kids.

-Three Piggy Bank Rule: Once your child gets an allowance, help them divide it into three piggy banks. The money in one bank they can spend on whatever they want. The money in the second goes to a charity of their choice and the money in the third goes to savings for their future.

-Wants vs Needs: Take a piece of paper with your child and write WANTS on one column and NEEDS on the other. Then let your child go through the ads in the Sunday newspaper and cut out different items and put them under the correct columns.

-Start a family 401(k): You can set a match for your child, so if they put in $1 per week, you could match, also putting in $1 per week. Set a goal for the account to be spent on such as a family vacation or something everyone can enjoy.

For more of Nicole's tips, head toProsperwell Financial

Nicole Middendorf, CDFA, is an LPL Financial Advisor.


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