Teaching children about money is not easy. No five-year-old wants to sit at the computer learning to bank online or watch their parents write a check. Mostly in these times of Covid, children would probably prefer to play outside or have a TIC Tac Dance. Who can blame them? But teaching kids about money at a young age is important. This will set them up to be independent, financially savvy, and prepared for emergencies. Luckily, there are some easy and fun ways to teach your kids about the dollar.
Who remembers the piggy bank? One of the funniest money lessons as a kid was to put a few coins into a ceramic pig and watch the pile grow. There’s something exciting about seeing your money earned, physically putting it into savings, and waiting until you absolutely need it to open the pig (or at least open the bottom). But don’t forget to teach your kids how credit cards work, too. With more places without cash during the covid, use this time to teach your child about the different types of credit and debit cards.
Make it a trip
When you go to the bank to withdraw money or buy parts for the washing machine, bring your child (hide yourself!). Turn the outing into a fun excursion and explain who the cashiers are, what the safes are for, and where the money goes after you drop it off. If you really want to get into the idea of a field trip, you can even use the time as a history lesson about money and why we have banks. By letting your child see the physical space where money is transferred, held, deposited and withdrawn, they will be able to imagine a whole world and better understand how the system works.
It can be difficult to tell your kids how much you spend on groceries each month, how much rent is, and how much auto insurance costs. We often want to protect our children from these realities, but it pays to be frank. As they age, they won’t be blinded by the cost of living and will be better prepared to make wise financial decisions. It doesn’t have to be a serious discussion, but rather something interactive. After giving them their groceries, show them the receipt. If your kid wants ice cream, direct them to the frozen food aisle and ask them to shop around for brands. Also, flip the script! Ask your children how much they think the items cost. They might think your house costs $ 100, which, depending on their age, might sound like a lot. Use their responses as a teaching moment.
Budget but make it fun
If you have an older child, like a teenager or teenager, they probably have a phone. They could also start working. It is a good idea to teach them that cell phones are not just for Instagram and socialize. They can also be precious tools to help them budget and lead by example. Download money management apps like mint or Every dollar on their phones, something that you also use that you can show them how to handle. As FitBit
We all know Monopoly is a classic board game and a not-so-subtle way to teach kids about money. Try to incorporate these lessons on economy, mortgages, real estate in other games too. If your child likes to play at home, ask them how much their house costs and how they got the money to buy it. If your kid loves Barbies, get them thinking about Barbie’s dream house and convertible in a financial way. By incorporating money into play time, your child will begin to see finances as another part of life.
Money is not usually the most exciting topic for children. But there are ways to teach your child about money that are both fun and useful. Remember that the most important strategy, however, is to set your own example. Children are observers. If you spend frivolously, they’ll think it’s okay no matter how often you tell them to budget.