Teaching your kids key financial concepts will help mold them into informed and capable adults. To get started use these 5 fundamentals.
Childhood experiences are different from what they once were largely due to technology. Screen time starts at an early age and through several different channels – TV, tablets, phones, and more. Now, more than ever, kids are influenced by the media and those around them.
Exposing your children to finances and teaching them these key concepts early on can help mold them into money-savvy adults. Start with the basics and help guide them.
You’ve heard the expression, “Money doesn’t grow on trees”. It sure doesn’t. That’s why, when you’re teaching your kids about money, it’s important to teach them where it comes from. While they may get the occasional card with money during the holidays or on their birthdays, they cannot count on it. Explain to them the only way to ensure there’s a steady stream of money coming in is by earning it. Consider paying your child for completing additional chores, making good grades, or the like instead of or in addition to an allowance.
Value Of A Dollar
Start by talking about money values. Make sure they know what matters to your family when it comes to money. Yes, you may be able to afford the latest and greatest, but it’s not a priority. To help, use cash with your kids. Give them a set amount, let them go to the register with more than they’ve got to spend, and allow them to make the hard choice of putting some items back. Cash tells them that money is finite, unlike plastic.
Patience is a virtue. When your child wants something they cannot afford, don’t immediately purchase it for them. Teach them to set savings goals. Determine how much money they have and how much money they need. Will they earn money, set a portion of their allowance aside, or both? Have them break down their goal into smaller, weekly goals they can complete and track. If they really want something, it should be worth the wait.
There’s an opportunity cost for every choice made, meaning when we make a decision we lose out on the next best option. For example, if you buy this video game then you won’t have the money to buy that pair of shoes you’ve been wanting. Allow your children to make decisions and live with the consequences that may result from those decisions. It’s better to let them make mistakes while still under the safety of your roof.
Kids are always listening and they’re always watching. They hear you when you say, “Just use the credit card”. They see when you purchase something only to not use it. The majority of what they learn will be from you, so setting an example for your kids is critical. Include your children when you do things like comparison shop, use coupons, resist purchases on impulse, spend only what you can afford, and encourage them to do the same.