Children learn about money, especially young children, by observing what their parents and other respected adults in their lives do. The information the soak up in watching us with our money will greatly impact their own opinions of money down the road. Whether they are spenders or savers, logical with money or irrational with it will depend in large part on what they learn about money growing up. Even if you don’t actually talk to your children about you will still be teaching them something about it.
Sadly, there isn’t much teaching going on when it comes to money, especially in school. Unless parents sit down and talk to their children about money, make it a point to share what they know, what they’ve learn, children will likely only have those observances from their childhood to fall back on. Most schools do not specifically teach children about money, about the value of money, about what spending versus saving means. Although this is valuable and necessary life information it often gets over looked.
There are many things you can do as a parent to help teach your children about money. Things like:
- Taking them to the bank or ATM with you so they can witness and learn about some of the different transactions that take place involving money.
- Taking them shopping with you and teach them about spending wisely.
- Giving your child a little bit of money and teaching them about saving versus spending.
- Giving your child a means to save money, like a bank account of their own, and teaching them about the importance of saving up for big purchases.
- Letting your child watch you pay bills and talking with them about using the money in our accounts to pay for our expenses.
- Teaching your child about spending wisely by clipping coupons, looking for sale items, etc.
- Talking candidly with your child about money and not making it a hidden, secret topic.
There are some great online resources that include activities you can do with your child to help teach them about money. Here are a few:
By teaching your children about money, sharing your financial experiences with them, you are giving them some of the tools they will need to be successful in their own life.