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Christine Hsu, a real estate investor, balances empathy and education when talking to her two school-aged children about their financial class. She and her husband reached a net worth of $1 million by the time they were 35. But understanding money and financial class are very personal topics.

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“However, teaching children about it at an early age will set them off to a good start in ensuring they have proper financial success in the future and into their adulthood,” Hsu said.

GOBankingRates spoke to Hsu and other professionals about how to talk to your kids about your financial class and its impact on your family. Our expert guide will help you avoid the awkwardness about talking to your kids about financial class while planting the seeds of financial literacy.

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Examine Your Beliefs

Start shifting your personal beliefs and feelings around money and financial class. Answer your children’s questions without making them feel guilty or ashamed for being curious. Be positive and encouraging while talking to your children about it.

“When you start to share more about finances and money with children, they are usually going to be more curious,” said Jen Reid, a financial planner and expert, and founder of BASE Financial Planning.

In addition, understand what you are willing to share and what you want to keep private and share with your children over time, whether you’re a single parent or have a spouse or partner.

Teach Early and Often

Financial literacy experts said it’s important to talk to your children about simple finances and money decisions by the age of 7 or 8. Hsu said that’s the age when children begin to understand the world around them and make connections about how money works.

Americans who lack financial education are more likely to have debt and overpriced loans, and are reluctant to invest their money.

Introduce How Money Works

Teach your children how money works. Start with basic topics like you go to work to earn money and how you use that money to pay for things.

Explain that there are some things that cost more, and you’ll have to make decisions if you want to pay for it, Reid said.

“Help your kids understand your goals and values as a family and what you are able to do when you are smart with your money and manage it well.”

Show and Tell

Younger kids may not be ready for a lesson about compounded investment growth, but they can learn about the importance of saving by observing your money decisions.

“Talks about money is often something that kids won’t grasp right away,” Hsu said. “But it takes continuous conversations and explanations. For example, we like to bring them into our conversations about birthday or holiday gifts and teach them to prioritize their wants vs. daily necessities.”

Be Honest and Transparent

Also, use simple clear language if you have to cut back on expenses or divert disposable income to other things.

“I explain our priorities around money and long-term goals,” Hsu said. “For example, mom and dad are able to buy toys. But we would rather invest that money so that it can grow and go towards education, future assets, or a business you would like to start in the future.”

Empathy Matters

Help your children understand the impact of your financial status by breaking it down into three, clear categories, said Jenn Wert, M.Ed., a parenting coach.

“Every family is different,” Wert said. “Guide your children to save early on, enjoy spending money on what’s important to them, and to give back to their community or the world in ways they care about.”

Avoid comparisons. For example, your children might ask why they can’t get a new pair of shoes while their classmates have the newest, best toys every week. Hsu said she encourages her children not to judge or create bias towards other people based on their financial situations.

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“We would rather teach them about smart money decisions, delayed gratification, distinguishing between buying wants vs. needs, and long-term goals,” Hsu said. “We instill an understanding of putting money to work through investments so there is less worry and a bigger financial safety net.”

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Finance Expert: How To Talk to Your Kids About Your Financial Class

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