Money-smart adults don’t always start out as money-smart kids.
How many of us think back to our childhood and wish we had been taught about money? Too many young adults graduate from college without the slightest idea of how to manage their money or their debt. Most can’t even balance their bank account.
But now that you’re ‘all grown up’ and mastered money & debt, you want to pass that knowledge on to your kids. And these five steps will have you raising frugal, money-smart kids who become frugal, money-smart adults in no time.
Bring Your Children To The Bank With You
Whenever you go to the bank to deposit money or pay bills, bring the children along. You’ll be giving them a real-life illustration of what it means to “save money.” For extra impact, share with your kids how good it is to save for a “rainy day.” And don’t forget to let them know that saving makes you feel happy. Children learn from us, even when we don’t realize it.
Use a Mason Jar Instead of a Piggy Bank
We might reflect fondly on our youth, putting pennies in a piggy bank, but you’ll do your child greater benefit by using a clear glass mason jar for saving. A see-through jar gives your child a powerful visual of their money. Every time they make a deposit, they can see the difference. Yesterday they might have had two quarters, and today they have two quarters and three nickels. If they spend a quarter, it’s easier for them to understand they have less.
Good Things Are Worth The Wait
The next time you feel like making an impulse purchase tell your child you plan on waiting for a few days to be extra sure you want it. Show your children that even though you may want something today, you may not feel the same need tomorrow. Curbing impulse purchasing in your children is something that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Give An Allowance
An allowance is one of the best things you can do for your children if you want to teach them to be money-smart. When your child wants something, have them purchase it with their own money. When that money is gone, they will soon understand what it means to have no more money until the next allowance comes around. And by reducing your child’s need to ask you for money all the time, you help to develop their individual sense of financial responsibility.
Cash Versus Credit
Rather than making a big purchase on plastic, tell your children that although you really want this item, you don’t have enough money for it right now. Let them in on your plan to save money towards the purchase of the item. When the time comes, make the purchase together. You’ll be showing your children that credit doesn’t mean buying what you can’t afford.
Teaching children about money is not always easy, but it’s always worthwhile. Remember, you aren’t raising children, you’re raising adults; money-smart adults. And that’s worth the investment!