Gayle S. Lob, a certified financial planner who lives in New Rochelle and owns Gayle Lob Financial Strategies in White Plains, offers her clients a healthy dose of common sense gleaned from the raising of her own children, who are now adults. Her goal? Help parents keep their financial sanity and raise kids who don't assume mom and dad are human ATMs.
What's the most important financial decision a parent has to make?
Whether or not to give their kids orthodonture. I am only half kidding as this is another significant financial burden for parents. I would say the biggest decision is whether to send their kids to a SUNY college or a private institution.
How has being a parent affected your own financial behavior?
I grew up in a household where credit was "verboten." You only bought something after you had saved for it and after you had put money aside in the bank. I have tried to instill these values in my children, and I believe I have been successful. When my children were small, we calculated together how much allowance they would need. We figured how many school lunches a week they would purchase, snack money, one movie a week with their friends, and always planning an amount for charity.
What's the best financial advice you've ever received that relates to your role as a parent?
My parents and grandparents were products of the Depression. Their mentality was you don't buy something till you've saved for it. And you always made sure you put money into savings. Children model their parents' behavior in all respects. If we as parents conduct ourselves responsibly in dealing with our finances, there is a good chance our children will grow up to be financially responsible adults.