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This Week at CFPB

Taking your kids to work is a great time to talk about money

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My kids were so excited when I asked them if they wanted to come to work with me today. At ages 6 and 9, this will be their first Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. They’re curious to see where Dad works, but honestly, I think they are more excited about getting a day out of the classroom.

The CFPB is focused on consumer financial products and services, so we are using today to teach our children about personal finances – our theme is Spend Save Share. About 115 of our children ages 6 through 18 will take part in the financially focused activities throughout the morning.

This is also a good opportunity for all parents to teach their children a little something about money. It’s a chance to talk about how parents work for money, and how our salaries give us a limited amount of money to spend every month. Parents can also talk about how they have to use some of that money to pay for the family’s needs, like food, clothing and shelter, and how we might have to save for other things we want.

Having regular conversations about money, and using teachable moments at the grocery store or when you’re paying bills are just as important, and serve as opportunities to help your daughters and sons understand money choices year-round.

Surveys show that children look first to their parent or parents as financial examples and for financial information and advice. According to a recent survey, 82 percent of teens said their parents taught them the basics about money management and 77 percent said their parents were their financial role models.

In many parts of the country, family may be one of the only sources of financial education. According to a different survey, 22 states require students to take an economics course as a high school graduation requirement, but only 13 states require a personal finance course or personal finances included in economics.

The CFPB will be one of about 3.5 million workplaces participating in the 20th annual Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. More than 37 million youth and adults participate each year. The event’s national theme for 2012 is “Build Opportunity: 20 Years of Education, Empowerment, Experience.”

Educating your children about earning, saving, spending, comparing, or needs versus wants achieves the goals expressed in this theme, and so much more.

To keep the conversation going …

One of our demonstrations today will be a review of some popular video games and information. There are lots of games and resources that teach financial principles responsibly in imaginative and fun ways. We have chosen some to share today, but this is not intended to be an endorsement of these games by the CFPB. Here are a few: