Instilling in children good attitudes about working, earning, saving, and investing is an important part of being a parent. Teaching your kids about money is something you should consider doing from a very early age, especially since it is rarely taught in schools.
A lot of us have to overcome a natural inclination to avoid a seemingly adult topic like money, but it’s important to help our kids develop the right habits early. If you can effectively teach them about money and demonstrate responsible financial behaviors yourself, they will have a better shot at leading fulfilling lives.
When children reach the age of six, they are ready to learn about money because they know how to add and subtract, and they’re old enough to have small chores. Though they likely know the value of dimes, nickels, and quarters from school, check-in just to make sure. Teach them how to add coins together.
Before you begin teaching your young children how to spend money, teach them about how to earn it. Plenty of parents don’t like the automatic, money-for-nothing nature of an allowance. Rather than doling one out, think about ways the kids can help around the house—doing the dishes, taking out the trash, running the laundry. Then pay them accordingly as a teaching tool.
Help them save—open a savings account, or buy a piggy bank. Encourage them to set aside a portion of their earnings towards a larger purchase. Then establish a goal—something they would like to purchase. Consider matching their savings to help with the purchase. Not only is your child learning critical lessons about responsibility, he or she also is learning about the value of saving money.
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The satisfying part of starting money management early is that you can shape important behaviors in your children that will help them throughout their lives. Check out our Resource Center to find more helpful tips on family finance and more!