Raiding Your Kids’ Savings Can Ruin Your Kids For Life: Here’s Why
Parents, have you ever raided your kids’ savings before? If your answer is yes, you are not alone.
A survey by CouponCodes4U found that nearly half of U.S. parents (49%) have admitted that they have taken money from their children’s savings accounts, and 51% of that figure said they did not even feel guilty about it.
The study conducted polled 2,578 parents across the U.S. to determine whether they had been in financial situations so desperate that it warranted borrowing from a child’s funds.
“Of those who confessed they had dipped into their children’s accounts, 36% said they needed the funds to pay bills, while 12% admitted they put the money towards a family vacation,” the report said.
When the going gets tough…
It is good that parents set up savings account or encourage children to save their money. However, you could undo all that good when you take money out on the sly.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, but unfortunately some parents try to find an easy way out by laying their hands on their children’s savings. It seems natural that households struggling with debt and bills have no choice than to take what was reserved for their children.
Many parents justify the action by telling themselves that they are the ones who saved up the money in the first place from their own pockets, but by doing so can destroy the whole concept of saving money, and all the good work in inculcating saving habit in children will go down the drain.
The issue does not lie in taking money from your child’s savings in times of need, but the way it is done. How much damage can “borrowing” money from your child’s piggy bank on the sly do? Here is what you will be teaching your kids, indirectly, by doing so and we even asked a few parents what their thoughts on this were.
1) Stealing is acceptable
Raiding your children’s piggy bank (in any form or format it may be) shows your stance on discipline. Do not be surprised if you find your own child seedily flicking a few notes from your wallet or purse, thanks to the example set by you.
It is no secret that children pick up behavioural patterns from their parents, and again, leading by example takes a wrong turn when you yourselves become the raiders of your children’s financial ark.
2) Money is a taboo subject
By not openly talking about money indirectly tells the kids that money is not an open subject to be discussed with the family. Parents may not broach the subject because they don’t want to worry their kids, but this can send the wrong message across.
Just like most things, money should be openly discussed – and this is the first step of instilling the right financial habits in your children.
“If the family is in need, I will not think twice about using my child’s savings. But only after explaining the issue to her and asking her permission to use the money. I believe how you do it will make a difference to the deed itself,” says Karyn Lee, 32, a mother of one.
3) Paying debts is optional
If the children do find out that the parents “borrow” some money from their savings, they expect the parents to replace the money as soon as they can. Failing to do so sets a horrible example of how one should approach debts.
Debt management is not a widely taught subject, even for adults, but it is picked up as one goes through life. Most often than not, through bad experiences, one learns to manage their debt better. It’s best to start them off early so you don’t need to have your child go through the same bad experiences to learn.
If you borrow from your child, have the discipline to return the money as soon as you can, or when you said you can.
“I understand if parents are really desperate, they may have no choice but to use your child’s savings. But I think as parents, we must repay the money and if possible with interest as well,” Joanne Lee, 46, a mother of two, says.
Stealing and embezzling are criminal offences in most parts of the world. Though it may not be jailable in the four walls of your home, it doesn’t mean you should be doing it.
Laying your hand on your kid’s money can potentially result in some serious repercussions in their future.
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