How often do we use money in our adult lives? Daily. Even if we’re not out shopping daily, we’re still doing something that costs money. So, although most parents, like myself, don’t want their kids to worry about money (like when I tell my 4 year old he can get something from the store and he says, but do we have the money? and it breaks my heart a little.. until I realize teaching him finances is a GOOD THING!)… it’s a good thing for them to know.
Why? Because they’ll be using it their entire lives! I mean right now, no. We, as parents chose to have these little human us’s and provide for them. But you get my drift. It’s something they need to know.
I have known too many people whose parents have given them a credit card or store cards or when they turned 18 gotten their own store credit card (usually all you can get at this age). And what do you think they did with it? Racked up the bill. Went over. Piled on a huge amount of deb.t Why? Because they usually think they need things they don’t. Even if not, they want things. OR they get small things, like a coffee from the fancy, overpriced coffee shop on campus daily. It adds up. And you KNOW we don’t need them racking up their, or our credit! Jeopardizing their/our credit scores before they realize what a credit score even is.
Here are ways and reasons to teach your children about finances:
- Don’t go crazy here. We don’t want them to learn that whenever they do a chore, they get money. Why? Because chores and cleaning up after yourself are part of everyday life. They’ll need to do this when they get their own place/go to college and they won’t be given money for doing it.
- BUT it can be an amazing thing. Giving them money for chores or helping with certain things can help them learn to save.
- Yep I just mentioned saving above. If you’re giving them a lot for chores, or, say, they get $20 for christmas… what do they want to do? SPEND! Why? They have money!!
- Saving is a great habit to be in. Even as adults, we sometimes forget about this part.
- Ask them what they’re saving for. Find out how much it is, let them be responsible for saving for the item (plus tax).
- Quite honestly, sometimes my kids save then forget what they’re saving for or decide they want something else and continue to save. Sometimes they’re like.. look at my piggy bank!!! And want to fill it up more instead of using it.
- Money counting
- If they’re young or sometimes get their coins mixed up, this is a great way to teach them that. Instead of giving them a $5 bill for chores, give them all coins and have them/help them count it out.
- Math! Of course! Hey, that’s super important too 🙂 If I have this much, and I need this much to buy this super cool toy, how much more do I need to save? I have this much and I’m going to buy this super cool toy and after I will have this much left.
- Money Responsibilities
- I know, I already said responsibilities but this one is important. After they have learned the above or are a little older, teaching them what costs money and where it goes is important.
- Why do you think mommy asks you to turn the lights off when you leave a room? Why do you think we wear a sweater in winter instead of turning the heat up super high? Why is it important to not leave the water running?
- Bring on bills! If you’re comfy with it, you can even show them bills and your income.
- This is how much I make.
- This is how much I owe for rent/mortgage, electric, water, trash, etc, etc.
- This is how much is left
- This is how much I budget for groceries. (which is why we don’t get super pricey stuff constantly at the store)
- This is what I put in savings for your college/emergencies/etc.
- Now, if this was your money, would you rather splurge on that ….super pricey food that they don’t need and is probably bad for them… or put it in savings for college/medical bills/emergencies/car.. etc.
- Teach how you’re comfortable teaching. There is no right or wrong when teaching them about income. Obviously go at their pace. If they comprehend it, teach. If not, wait until they do to teach the more advanced things.
- Have fun!
- We don’t want to make finances too boring for kids. If they see you constantly stressed, they’ll take the hint that it’s a constantly stressful thing. Hide your stress. I don’t care if you’re up to your eyeballs in debt. They don’t need to know that. Just teach them how to prevent that/minimize the possibility of that.
- If you need help
- NEVER be afraid to ask for help if you’re not sure how to teach something to your child.
- We, as parents, would rather our child know the right information than the incorrect information or only half of the information.
- We want them to be financially dependent when they get older.
Teaching our youth is an amazing thing, whether your own children, a child in your family, or just any child you know. Teaching about finances will not only help these little humans grow up into, likely, financially responsible big humans, but it can possibly help people around them as well.
Nothing but good can happen by teaching them. It brings them more in tune with how money works, what needs to be spent on and what can wait as well as responsibility!
Do you have any advice for teaching kids finances?
I’d love to hear from you. Let me know below!