Teaching kids about money can feel overwhelming since it can be such an emotional topic. But, starting early is a great way to ensure that your little ones get a head start on a healthy financial future.
If you are stuck on ways to teach your kids about money, Low Income Financial Help has provided a few simple ideas to jog your creative juices:
Kids this young can learn about money. Keep it simple – For example, help them understand that when they want a toy or a snack from the store, it costs money. Help them learn about the importance of waiting to buy something by having them earn money to pay for the want.
They may be a little too young to really grasp counting money, but you can make it simple by creating a chart showing how many dollars they need to earn and marking the dollars off with a sticker as they earn more money.
Don’t be afraid to talk about money and be patient with teaching them. While paying for groceries or gas with your bank card is often convenient, try letting your children see you pay with cash here and there as it’s a great way to teach them about money.
Kids this age can comprehend how to add and subtract money. Let them earn money for jobs by creating extra chores at home they can do to earn cash. Now is also a great time to teach them basic saving skills. Sit down and teach them how to separate 10 percent for savings, 10 percent for giving (charity, church etc.) and the rest goes to their expenses.
Kids may struggle with not being able to spend all of their money, but if you start teaching them the importance of saving early, they’ll quickly see how fast their savings add up.
Teenagers are usually old enough to get some type of work outside the home, which means they will be making a lot more money. Help them open their own bank account and remind them to set aside a certain amount into savings each month.
Teenagers can grasp budgets. Let them sit down with you and watch you balance your budget. Show them how to keep track of their finances in the checkbook (if they still exist) and let them see how much bills cost every month. If you can show your teens how much you pay for rent, utilities and groceries, they’ll have a much better understanding of how money works.
Many parents are afraid to talk to their kids about the monthly bills, like it’s some sort of private affair. Being open about money will be much more helpful for your children.
Once you are comfortable you may even let your teen try to balance the budget one month. You may end up eating canned beans for dinner for the last week, but your teen will get hands on experience of dealing with real money.
Money shouldn’t be a taboo subject among family members. Teach your kids about money now so they have the information they need when they move out on their own – and stay out of debt!