It is definitely one of the more important life lessons that we have to teach our children about. In order to help set them up for a successful financial future, we have to teach our children about money, how to earn it, how save it, investing it, and more. Luckily, this doesn’t have to a boring task for the kids to sit through. There are quite a number of creative ways that we can use to teach kids all about finances. Keep reading for our favorite tips and techniques!
#1 – Ditch The Pig
While piggy banks are traditional, cute and fun, the truth is that they don’t give kids the opportunity to watch their savings add up over time. A great idea is to grab a clear jar, A Mason jar would do just fine in this instance, and have your children put their earnings in there. As they see their dollar bills and change adding up, they will understand the value of saving.
#2 – Use Primarily Cash For Purchases
While your debit and credit cards are quite convenient, they aren’t going to do much in the way of teaching your children about money. Handing over a piece of plastic every time you make a purchase isn’t proving any points to them. When you can, pay with cash, for example, if you go grocery shopping, or even to run a simple errand like pick up milk, let your child hold the money, tell them how much the item cost, let them hand the money over to the cashier.
#3 – Use Modern Tools To Teach Them
The internet is a wonderful tool for educating kids about finances. There are many age-specific games geared towards helping kids learn about money and honing their math skills further. A simple internet search will provide many options to give your kids the right start! A great place online that makes learning about money fun is Kasasa, featuring great games and apps that will have kids wanting to learn more!
#4 – Family (and Finance!) Game Night
Board games are a great way to ease in a lesson or two about money and finances. Take Monopoly for example, children will have to learn to budget their money so that they do not run out, they have to learn to invest it wisely, etc. The Game of Life is another great one, money has to be budgeted for education, a home, and more. Board games are a unique and engaging way to get your kids involved in the learning process!
#5 – Give Them Accountability
Let your children be accountable for their chores, as well as collecting their allowance at the end of the week. This teaches them responsibility as well as accountability. Still check in on them, but give them the responsibility of maintaining their chore schedule, perhaps with the help of a chart, and this will be a lesson that will surely come in handy later on in life when they go on to get jobs and careers!
#6 – Use Charts and Planners
By employing the use of a chart or planner, you are helping your children learn about where money goes. We have “spend” money, where they can spend the amount they have on a little toy now for instant gratification, or “save,” where they can save up their dollars until they have enough for a larger item they may want, say for instance, a bicycle, or a new video game. Finally, if your children are old enough, you can also teach them about donating to charity. By keeping a chart with all of these different areas, your children will be able to visually see where exactly their money is going! The Such Small Steps blog has a great article on how she taught her little ones all about money!
#7 – No More Splurges
All too often as parents, we find ourselves in the middle of the toy aisle at Wal-Mart or Target, with our little one’s batting their best puppy-dog eyes at us. How did we get there? You went in for laundry detergent! Our little ones have fine-tuned the art of manipulating us into buying them a toy. But hey, we all do it. As they get older, though, it is important to teach them that at a certain point, you are going to stop doing that because they have their own money now, so they can buy their own toys. This reinforces the responsibility rule.
#8 – The Value of Pocket Change
Even though pocket change may seem rather insignificant, it can add up pretty quick. So if and when your children purchase something and receive change back, take that opportunity to explain to them the value of keeping a change jar. Also teach them about the values of the coins as well, such as nickels being five cents, dimes being ten cents, and so on.
#9 – Involve Them In Their Education Funds
When the time comes and your children are old enough, sit down with them and show them how the savings accounts for their respective educations have grown over the years from mom, dad, grandma and grandpa putting money into it. Explain to them that they too can add to this account if they wish to. It will make them feel important and responsible as they think of their future. Let them know that they can give you any money they want to put into those respective accounts. Even pocket change counts, it all adds up in the end!
#10 – Teach The Art of The Savvy Shopper
To children, it may seem that we grown-ups just go to the store and pick up whatever we like and then pay for it. But many of us have budgets to stick to, and to do so we have to learn to be savvy shoppers and find the best deals. Teach your children little by little about saving money where and when you can, like perhaps buying store-brand cereal versus brand name, take them on the next shopping trip and show them how the price tags stack up against one another. You’ll be teaching them a valuable skill for their future!