7 Tips On How To Start Teaching Your Kids About Money

7 Tips On How To Start Teaching Your Kids About Money

7 Tips On How To Start Teaching Your Kids About Money

by Steve Gamel

Many of us vaguely remember the day mom and dad first grabbed an old mason jar from the cabinet or bought a cute piggy bank from the dollar store and began taking the first steps toward teaching us about money. It was a critical time in our lives as we learned what money is, the value of it, and the importance of saving. Looking back, those memories should also be a perfect reminder that it’s never too early to teach our own children. But where do we start? Is it literally as simple as grabbing a piggy bank and a few quarters and nickels? The short answer is yes, but there are so many other tips and tricks that can make the process easy for both yourself and the kiddos.

In no particular order, here are seven tips on how to start teaching your kids about money:

Encourage Saving
Yes, you can still grab a clear jar to create a visual experience for your child as they see their money grow, but piggy banks work just fine, too, and many local banks like PointBank even offer a free piggy bank if you open a kids’ savings account. Your kids fill up their piggy bank on their own time, and they look forward to taking it to the bank. The important piece here is to make a big deal out of it and reward them for how much they save.

Pay Yourself First
To piggyback (no pun intended) off the first item on this list, it’s important to stress the adage of paying yourself first. Your kids will understand this more as they get old enough to have a job and pay their own bills. With each paycheck, teach them to take a percentage out and immediately put it in their savings account. A coworker here at Murray Media told us how her dad used to pay her 50 cents for a chore only to take 25 of it away and sock it in her savings account.

Give Them an Allowance
Remember, though, that an allowance is something that’s both a privilege and earned. As financial guru, Dave Ramsey, once wrote, “Don’t just give your kids money for breathing.” Give them money for chores they complete around the house, like folding towels or cleaning up their bedroom. More importantly, set a value for each chore – perhaps one chore is worth a dollar while another is worth 50 cents.

Break Out the Old-School Board Games
Kids are so used to playing their Nintendo Switch or Playstation nowadays, but us adults grew up playing board games. Games like Monopoly give your kids a chance to physically hold “play money” as they work through different scenarios. It’s a great teaching tool and something you can do together. The game Life is also another fantastic teaching tool.

Set a Good Example
Even adults make poor choices with money; it happens all the time. Just remember that if you have kids, they are watching. They see what your spending habits are – good, bad, and indifferent – and they are listening when you argue about financial troubles with your significant other. Don’t just talk to your kids about money, take it a step further by living what you preach every single day. And if you mess up, don’t be shy about explaining the consequences to them.

Educate Them On Credit/Debit Cards
As your children take hold of a debit card for the first time, it’s easy for them to think money just magically appears on it every time they use it. Explain the pros and cons of credit and how to make responsible decisions, particularly with their bank accounts.

Be Patient
This is perhaps the most important tip of them all. Your children will undoubtedly be exposed to different scenarios, wins, and even losses as they continue to learn about money and saving. It is important as the parent to be patient and to keep the communication lines open so your child feels like they can talk freely with you. This is huge when it comes to money.

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