A lot of us avoid having conversations with our children about money--how much we've put away; how we'll finance our retirement; where our investments are if, suddenly, we're no longer on the scene. It's a tough chat to have.
A friend found an unusual way to educate his daughter. Mind you, he didn't mean it as an education. Mostly, his daughter, a sophomore in college, was having a hard time finding a summer job. So he hired her. He had been meaning to use a software program to catalog and follow his financial holdings but never found the time to do it. "I didn't necessarily want to hire an outsider to look through every nickel and dime we had," he says. So he paid her an hourly wage to do it--and to work for him and her mother on a business they run out of their home.
It worked out well. He got his financials organized. But there was a second if unintended consequence. "She now knows so much more about what we do, where our money is invested and how it comes in. And that's a good thing."
During the summer, she also transcribed notes, did some research and was all-around helper for her parent's business. And that led to one other benefit. By paying her a regular wage, the dad says, he felt free to ask her to run errands. "If she wasn't working for us, I never would have asked her to run out to pick up a box from one address, take it to Federal Express and send it out. And, by the way, while you're on your way back, pick me up a ham and cheese on rye."