You might not realize it, but kids are not taught much about money in school today. They may cover basic money functions such as addition and subtraction, but the really important lessons like how to budget or the true value of a dollar, fall to the parents to teach.
Teaching your kids anything may seem like a tall mountain to climb, but when it comes to finding ways to teach kids about money, it is easier than you think.
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How to teach your kids about money
The earlier you begin teaching your kids about money, the better they will learn the lesson.
For preschool to early school age kids, start by taking them grocery shopping with you. Around age 5, kids can start helping pay at the register, putting things in the cart, and so on.
If you talk with them about the cost of things, they may not talk back but it will become second nature topic for your family.
By the time they are pre-teens and teens, you should consider opening a youth checking account for them. This will get them started actually learning how to manage money.
By this age, they should already know that they have to work for their money and a checking account will help them do that.
From the time your kids are born, books should play an important role in their lives. This includes using books as a way to teach kids about money.
There is a huge selection of amazing books that teach about money and they start as early as infant and childhood ages. If you use books to help teach them, they will not only learn how to manage money, but will also get a leg up on their reading skills.
Our kids really enjoyed this set of books by Dave Ramsey when they were young, and my husband and I learned a lot about how to teach our kids about money by reading Smart Money, Smart Kids, also by Dave and his daughter Rachel.
Play money games
Games are a great way to teach your kids too.
To turn it into a really fun time, have a family game night with homemade pizza and a movie after!
Give them chores
Children, even toddlers and preschoolers, should be given chores before rewards.
Even if the chore is something simple such as putting dry clothes in a laundry basket, they will need that “work” to help teach them that in order to have money, they must work.
As your kids get older, the chores involved should get a bit harder. This will both teach them and prepare them for the workforce they’ll enter as adults.
Pay for chores
Along with those chores comes paying for the unusual ones. After all, how can your child learn about money if they’re not earning any?
Obviously, you would only want to do this with kids who are old enough to understand the concept of extra chores equals earning money.
Things such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow, babysitting siblings and more are all great ideas for chores your kids should be earning from.
Make saving money a requirement
Finally, one of the best ways to teach kids about money is to ensure they’re saving it.
This means that from the very first time they earn money, require them to save 20% of it. For littles, keep their savings in a jar so they can watch it grow.
For older children, consider opening a savings account and teaching them about how interest works.
Just like anything else, teaching your kids about money takes time, but this is literally one area that will pay off down the road. Building a solid foundation in your kids’ minds about the responsible handling of money will serve them for a lifetime.