If you haven’t done so already this is a great time to begin teaching your children about money. With the economy on questionable ground we are all saving more, spending less, spending more consciously and revisiting our budgets. Children have a hard time grasping the concept of money and the value of things unless their parents take the time to teach them. As you revisit your budget, put a little more in savings and shop more carefully talk to your children about what you are doing. The more they learn now the better of they will be in the future when they are managing their own household.
How you approach teaching your children about money will depend on your child’s learning style and most importantly your child’s age. It is never too early to begin talking to your children about money. Even little toddlers can learn a few things about money. The older your child is the more you can get into.
Here are a few suggestions on things you can do to teach your children about money:
- Most importantly start a savings account for them. Consider taking them to the bank with you as there will be a lot for them to learn. Make sure they go with you anytime you are putting money into their savings account, as they will feel more connected to it.
- For your younger children, get them a piggy bank and encourage them to save coins. Give them the change from your pocket or purse to save in their piggy bank.
- Encourage your child to save at least some of their allowance, gift money and any other money they receive.
- Get your child to pick out something that they really want and have them save up to buy it for themselves. If they pick what they are saving for they are more likely to be excited about saving for it. As they put money away for the special item talk to them about how much they have saved and how much more they have to go. Explain to them that the more they spend the longer it will take to save for their special item.
- Talk to your children about the family expenses. You can do this while paying the bills, while at the grocery store, or while working on the family budget. This one works best with older children, but younger children can learn a few things too.
- Get your child to help you clip coupons and explain to them about how important it is to save money on the things you buy.
- Purchase a book about money for your child, like “The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money“. Children learn a lot from books.
- For your older children, start to teach them the difference between a checking and savings account. You can do this with teens by getting them to pay a few of their own bills, like gas, car insurance, or buying their own back to school clothes.
- Most importantly talk about money as a family. Be open about your family finances and use every opportunity you can to teach your children about money.
The more your children know about money, including how to save it and how to spend it wisely, the better off they will be as they go out into the world and begin managing their own money. Teaching your children about money is a great gift you can give them.
How do you teach your children about money? Have you found something that works really well for your family?