Managing money isn’t the most compelling topic, but it’s something everyone should learn how to do. Why not start early?
The benefits of age-appropriate childhood financial education are too numerous to lay out here. Think back to your own childhood — in retrospect, did your parents really teach you everything you needed to know about personal finance?
You can do better, and you don’t have to be a licensed financial professional to make it work. Just try these five fun, family-friendly ideas.
Five Ways To Teach Kids About Money
Give Kids a Reasonable Allowance
The ideal allowance is not a weekly or monthly grant with no strings attached. Rather, it’s a token of trust that its recipient will spend (or save!) wisely. It’s also a great way to manage your own family budget since it provides a ready-made excuse for declining your little ones’ drip-drip-drip requests for parental funds.
On allowance day, sit down with your younger kids and help them draw up a budget for the coming week or month; expect your older ones to do the same on their own and show their work when done.
Enlist Help on Your Next Fundraising Campaign
Even if you do most of the work, your kids shouldn’t be total bystanders as you raise funds for their schools, extracurricular activities, or community groups. Bring them to weekend fundraising events or enlist them to sell fundraising products to parents, teachers, and community leaders.
According to fundraising experts at ABC Fundraising, family fundraising outings are perfect opportunities to demonstrate the value of hard work while raising money for worthy causes.
Open a Custodial Checking Account
In most states, parents can open custodial checking accounts with their kids. You’ll both have control over the account, so you can limit its funding as you wish. There’s no better way to get kids familiar with basic concepts like debit cards, online banking, and balancing a budget.
Give Kids Some Family Budgeting Responsibility (But Check Their Work)
As your kids age, give them some responsibility for the entire family’s budget. Before you figure out what you can spend for the month, have them take a crack at it. If nothing else, this is a great way to connect with tweens and teens.
Make Chores Worthwhile
Your kids might be too young for a “real” job, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pay them for work done around the house. Make part of each week’s allowance contingent upon successful completion of whatever duties you’ve assigned, or simply agree on a fair hourly rate.
Are Your Kids Money Smart?
Okay, your five-year-old won’t be ready to sit for the Series 7 exam anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean you can’t start her down the path to financial fluency at a tender age.
These five tips are all designed to increase your kids’ financial IQ without interrupting your family’s rhythms or costing you an arm and a leg. (That wouldn’t make sense, would it?)
You probably have your own ideas about age-appropriate childhood financial education, too. Don’t be shy about sharing them with your fellow parents — and trying them out on your own kids as they move closer and closer to financial independence.
More Resources To Teach Kids About Money