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"I hear parents say that it's easier to talk to kids about sex and drugs than it is to talk about money," says Elisabeth Donati, founder and executive director of Creative Wealth International, a Santa Barbara-based organization that runs financial literacy programs for children and adults. But when it comes to empowering your children to succeed, it's important to sit down with them and discuss the basics of money management. Show the kids your pay stubs and bills to help them conceptualize where money comes from and how it is spent, Donati suggests. Later, involve your teenagers in devising a plan to save for their college fund, so they grow up feeling a sense of ownership for the family financials.