Helping Your Kids Prepare for Real Life: Developing Independence

It’s not uncommon for young adults to have no understanding of how to live in the “real world” once they are on their own.

An important life skill to start teaching them is how to remain independent with both lifestyle and money.

This is very doable if you start now. and there are several ways to do so:

Encourage Them to Get Well-Paying Jobs

Of course, your kids don’t need to make enough money to support a lavish lifestyle.

However, they should at least make enough to support themselves, and that will usually require them to earn more than minimum wage.

One way of helping them get better-paying jobs is to encourage them to go to college.

If you are thinking about helping pay for their degree, you can send them to college with parent student loans. Private Parent Loans are low-rate and allow you to help out with tuition.

Teaching Life Skills

Your kids will find it hard to learn basic life skills anywhere but home, so it’s a good idea to have them help out around the house.

Then, when they are living on their own, it will be easy for them to get by. You can have older kids and teens do their own laundry, help prepare dinner, and clean the house.

This also instills in them the fact that food, shelter, and other necessities require work.

Helping Them with Money

It’s easy to spend your money on frivolous things, and when kids see this example, they are tempted to do the same thing. And once they get a job, they might want to buy clothes, food, and other expensive things instead of saving.

Instead, as a way to raise money smart kids, consider managing their funds for the first year or so that they have a job. Split it between checking, savings, and spending money.

The checking account can be used for things they need to pay for themselves, such as a replacement phone or a speeding ticket.

They might not be thrilled with this setup at first, but when they have more savings to fall back on later in life, they will be thankful you didn’t let them spend everything they had made.

Charging Rent

Once your kids are 18, they are considered adults, so you might want to treat them as such. They should know from an early age that they will not be allowed to be adults with no responsibilities or rules.

Let them know they will be expected to help with at least some of their portion of the bills.

Of course, you don’t have to charge them the same amount they would pay if they were living on their own, but even if they are spending a few hundred dollars each month, they can learn responsibility.

For example, perhaps you will have them pay for their own phone bill and car expenses. That can help them be more responsible with both these things.

They will have more incentive to take care of them if any replacements or repairs come out of their own money.

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