Every parent knows that kids are quick learners, and even preschoolers can grasp a basic understanding of money. Begin shaping their feelings, thinking and values about money at an early age. It’s not as difficult as it may seem.
#1 – Make Saving a Habit
They learn about spending money all too soon, so take them to your financial institution and teach them that money is for saving, too. Open a savings account for them talk to them about putting money away for the things they want. Start with short-term goals such as small purchases for the younger kids and guide older ones toward longer-term, larger goals. This teaches them about:
- Delaying gratification;
- Setting short- or long-term goals;
- Planning for the future; and
- Building security and independence.
#2 – Create Opportunities to Earn Money
A healthy respect for money is gained when kids learn they must for it before they can spend it. Although kids should perform certain chores at home as part of their normal responsibilities as a family member, you can create special tasks in exchange for a weekly allowance. This “salary” can be deposited into their savings accounts bi-weekly or monthly. This teaches them about:
- Growing their savings;
- Using compound interest; and
- Valuing their hard-earned money.
#3 – Instill Smart Decision-Making
Saving isn’t always about stashing away money to buy things they want. There will come a time to save for things they need or will have to pay others to do for them. There will also come a time for giving, so discuss what causes they may want to support. Have them put their allowance into three jars for saving, spending and donating. This teaches them about:
- Budgeting their money;
- Making good decisions;
- Deciding on donations; and
- Preparing for adult choices.
Kids are always watching us and repeating what we say. Many times, they can even do funny but very accurate impersonations of us! Why not use this to your advantage? Remember that your kids will learn faster and best if you model good money habits yourself.