The importance of money and how to handle it responsibly is something that even plenty of adults in our world today don’t quite grasp! It’s never too early to start teaching your children small lessons that can add up to big rewards in their future understanding of finances. You can start young and start small, most importantly making sure to lead by example! We all know our kids are like little sponges!
Sit down and have a conversation about money and responsible usage like spending versus saving.
Even your little ones can gain from this when you pull out some coins and give them some real life examples. As your kids get older you can talk to them candidly about how to decide whether spending money on something or if it would be better to save the money for something else.
Give them a piggy bank or open a bank account.
Depending on their age a piggy bank (or a homemade version of one!) might be all they need to store their coin earnings, but if they’re older and ready to learn more responsibility with their money, it may be time to open a banking account. This will lead to even more opportunity to teach them about tracking their purchases, deposits, and withdrawals.
Let them handle money and help you pay for things in cash when you are out and about.
Whether you’re getting money from the teller or ATM, paying cash at the store, or leaving a tip for your server, it can be a great moment to let your child count the money you have! Getting used to different notes and coins may not be as important in our debit card and online banking era, but it’s certainly still something they need to practice!
Consider giving them an allowance, paying for chores, or help them brainstorm ways they can make money.
This is the perfect time to introduce a spirit of entrepreneurship in your kids! Maybe you can encourage them to start a yard working business, help their grandparents around the house, or even better, do their own chores at home! Whatever you decide on, you’re both sure to benefit and it will help them see the value of the money that they are working hard for.
Make it FUN!
Starting to teach them these money lessons at a young age can make it hard to keep their attention, so make sure that you include some fun activities! With younger children, you can show them different size coins and how much they are worth and then set aside time to play “store” with your young ones. Help them figure out what they’re going to save for and draw up a little “savings goal” poster for their bedroom. Take them to the store when they’ve saved for something specific and help them make their first purchases. That will be something to celebrate!
These small lessons can seem unimportant, but your children will one day appreciate the time you spent with them in the process. Make sure that when they do reach a goal or show that they’re being responsible with their money, you make a big deal about it! They should feel good about being smart with their money and you should feel good about teaching them!