How are you teaching the value of money to your kids?
Raising financially smart children is one parenting goal that mom and dad, as well as the kids themselves, would be grateful for. Children who grow up knowing the value of money are expected to become wise spenders. They are projected to be more responsible in handling their finances because they have a good understanding of money basics. They understand that money is not unlimited, and that it is a fruit of hard work. Thus money should not be wasted on anything unimportant.
Money lessons start at home. As a parent, you are the first one to teach your children how to count. It could be during this early stage that you teach your kids the basics that money matters. With that, it’s important that you set a good example to teach the value of money to your children. You should know smart ways to grow your savings, what investments to make, and different ways of clearing debt. If you cover the whole nine yards of making, spending, and managing your finances, your money lessons will be realistic and achievable for your kids too.
This could easily overwhelm young ones so let’s take it one step at a time, right? Here are easy ways you can instill the value of money in your kids.
Give Children a Piggy Bank or Money Jars
Teaching kids to save would be more effective if they can see the actual money that they are saving. It is good to open their own bank accounts for them but since they might not understand the concept of savings in a bank yet, show them another means of saving money they can do by themselves.
Give them the old fashion piggy bank. Kids can save coins or bills as often as they want or set days in a week when they should “feed the pig”. Set a date when you can open it together. It would also build their excitement if they have a printed tracker so they can see their progress.
Aside from a piggy bank, you can provide three jars for your kids to fill. They are the 3S Jars — labeled as Save, Spend, and Share. This is one way of teaching children how to manage their money and to honor the value of money. This is a way of teaching them how much should be saved for a specific goal, spent on necessary items, and shared (as donation to charity).
Incorporate Money Lessons Into Games
Make your children learn about the importance of money while they are having fun! The most common game we know is to pretend play. Pretend that you’re in a restaurant or supermarket and they are the customers. Print play money and prepare items they can buy from you. Even if it is just a game, they’ll learn the basic exchange of money and goods. Plus, they’ll know they can’t buy everything so they need to decide which item(s) they want the most and what they can afford with the amount they have on hand.
Encourage Them to have Goals
Ask your children what they want to get if they have enough cash. Trending toys or a trip to a theme park would probably top their list. Explain how much money it would cost them to achieve their goals and how long it would take them to build the fund. Let them realize how fulfilling it would be to get what they want and use their own money by saving up.
Differentiate Wants From Needs
When you give cash to your kids, even if it is just a small amount, you can train them to make smart choices with their money. That’s why it is better to have a savings goal rather than storing your cash just to purchase random stuff on a whim.
When you go to a department store, the kids might try their best to convince you to buy this and that. Don’t say yes and no in a snap. Instead, ask a few questions that would lead them to figure out whether something is just a want or an actual need. Explain why a need is prioritized over a want. They need to know there’s nothing wrong with purchasing something they like, but the reason you’re not buying it for them should also be clear.
Allow Kids to do their own Shopping
If you let them shop on their own, you teach them to make a financial decision by themselves. Help them find stuff they can buy with the amount they have in their pocket. Let them go through the whole transaction — from searching to comparing to choosing, and then up to paying at the cashier. Selecting from a few choices is a crucial point, especially if the prices are far from one another. It’s okay if they are having a hard time deciding because that’s when you can enter the scene and advise (or maybe convince) them which is the best deal.
Family Money Jar
You know how it feels great to be part of achieving something, right? Allow your kids to experience this even while they’re young. Have a family money jar where you can build your fund for your next lunch out, an upcoming family vacation, or a new dog house for your beagle. Tell them they can put in any amount whenever they can. Always show your appreciation and don’t forget to remind them they’re doing an excellent job as a part of the family.
Take Your Children to Work
If your kids think your money is just falling off a tree, bringing them to your workplace would help them better understand where it’s coming from. When they see for themselves the things you do at work, every single day when you’ve left the house, it will come to their senses that earning money takes a lot of hard work. If you can, give them tiny tasks in exchange for some extra cash. This will keep them busy for a time and will make them more appreciative of hard-earned money.
Let children experience making financial decisions at a young age. When children know how you earn, spend, and save money, it will be easier for them to follow suit. Walk the talk if you want to instill the value of money to your little ones. Also, guide them until they realize that although money is important, it certainly isn’t everything.
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