Most people get their money habits and skills from their parents and caregivers. That’s why it’s important that parents and caregivers have some background in how children develop, financially.
Ultimately, most adults seek financial well-being. Research shows that people feel they have financial well-being when they:
Have control over day-to-day, month-to-month finances;
Have the capacity to absorb a financial shock;
Are on track to meet their financial goals; and
Have the financial freedom to make the choices that allow them to enjoy life
By helping your children develop important behaviors, knowledge, skills, and personal traits – when they are developmentally ready – you can help put them on a path to financial well-being in adulthood.
Keep in mind that you’re teaching about money, on purpose or not
Your children are constantly watching and listening, so they might absorb more than you think. When you shop for a bargain, or splurge on a treat, or plan a special occasion, you’re showing your kids how you think about money.
Don’t worry too much about things you don’t know
Don’t feel confident about money matters? You’re in good company. Most people don’t. And that’s okay. Every day, you excel at something your children need to learn – whether it’s managing your time between work and home, saving money when you shop, or planning for a future event. Use these as teaching moments and you will be surprised at just how much your child learns, no matter what their age.
This year’s theme for National Financial Literacy Month is Envision a Financially Literate Future. That is why it is imperative that we teach our youth to be financially literate. During Financial Literacy Month let’s focus on the financial education of our nation’s youth. Comment below and tell us what you are doing to promote financial literacy during this month, and how will you keep promoting financial literacy once this month is over.
A child’s early teen years are not too early to learn about the stock market. You can pretend to invest in companies your child is familiar with, like Disney or Mattel. Make it a family activity by having each member pick a stock. Then read the paper or watch the financial news together, and discuss how the stock values of everyone’s choices fluctuate.
Between lunch money, school supplies, and other small necessities, allowance can go very quickly for young teens. Help your child set a budget by first discussing wants vs. needs. I call it the potatoes and gravy game. Potatoes are food we need to survive. The gravy makes it taste better but isn’t necessary. You can reinforce this idea by going over the family budget with your child and discussing your family’s needs vs. wants.
Ages 16 and up
Stored-value cards, such as Visa Buxx or American Express Cobaltcard, are simple tools that parents can offer to teach lessons in financial responsibility. Teenagers can use these buying cards to pay for things without using cash or credit cards. Parents load the cards, which look like credit cards, with a set amount of money and then let their teens budget their allowance. (Ask your lender about possible annual fees.)
With a little encouragement, giving to charity can become part of your child’s mentality. In fact, donating can be more than a financial lesson; it can teach social responsibility. Help your child pick five charitable organizations that interest him. To decide which is worthy of your hard-earned dollar, make it a family project to find out what they do, how well they do it, and what percentage of the donations goes to their cause.
One way to teach 9-12 year olds about money is comparison shopping. Read the store’s price labels with your child, look at the size and price, and compare the bulk amount per cent. Don’t forget to take quality into account. For example, one week buy brand-name paper towels. The next week, try a generic brand. Then discuss the differences and decide together if the brand name is worth the extra cost.
The all-American yard sale has you annually cleaning out your attic, garage, and child’s closet. This year, put your child in charge. With some supervision, preteens may take to this project like a duck to water. They can handle much of the responsibility while learning about setting a value, making decisions, and helping you haggle with customers over prices.
Don’t forget to let your children be part of your financial world. They will thank you later!
As children grow, we can start teaching them some of the ins and outs of money. Here is my answer to my client’s question, what age should you start teaching kids about money? This is for the age group 6-8 year old’s
As soon as your child is receiving an allowance, he/she will need a place to put their money. Make a trip to the bank an event. Help your child open a savings account, and encourage them to make regular deposits. As the balance grows, you can discuss the concept of interest and how the bank pays people back for saving their money. Many banks have children’s accounts that offer no-fee and no-minimum-balance accounts.
This is also a good age to take up coin collecting as a hobby. (You can spark your child’s interest with state quarters.) Visit the kids’ section of the United States Mint Web site (www.usmint.gov/kids) with your child and learn about the evolution of U.S. currency. You’ll also find online games and cartoons to keep your child engaged.
Welcome back! As we continue with our series on kid’s and money, our sweet preschooler’s are ready, willing and able to be a part of our financial world.
Before heading to the supermarket, ask your preschooler to help you clip coupons. (Don’t forget to use safety scissors.) When you’re at the store, hand him/her the coupons and ask him/her to keep an eye out for the products. This will make him/her feel like he’s/she’s helping, and it’s an easy and fun way to talk about saving money.
Most preschoolers would rather play imaginary restaurant at home than go out for dinner. It playfully promotes a variety of skills, such as setting the table, learning good manners, and making change. Many 4-year-olds have to be reminded after the pretend meal that they have to pay the bill. Once they understand the concept, they get very excited about paying with pretend money or making change as the cashier.
A while back, I had a client ask me at what age should one start to teach their kid’s about money? In the next few day’s, I will breakdown my answer by age group.
It’s actually easy to teach kids about money. Turn your day-to-day activities into learning experiences. Trips to the bank, store, or the ATM machine, for instance, can be a perfect opening for a discussion about your values and how you use money. When children are very young, you can work money concepts into your child’s imaginary games, like playing pretend store or restaurant. Read on for some fun, simple ways to introduce finance to your child.
Ages 2 and 3
A 2- or 3-year-old faced with a choice between a penny, dime, and nickel will almost always choose the nickel because of its size. But while very young, children won’t fully understand the value of money, they can begin to learn the names of coins. One way to do this is to play the coin identification game. You and your child can trace around the outside of various coins and color in the shapes. Then invite your child to match the coin to the image while discussing each one’s name. (Note: Toddlers may try to swallow coins, so always provide close supervision.)
Young kids love to play store, but an imaginary shop in the living room is more than just a fun way for your child to exercise his imagination. By exchanging play money for goods, your child begins to understand the basics of commerce. Use cereal boxes, fruit, sponges, or paper towels as store items. Together, make pretend money and shop till you drop.
I would like to hear from you. What age do you think one should start to teach their kid’s about money? Comment below with your answers.