Whether you are aware of it or not, you are constantly teaching your children about money management. It might not be obvious, but most kids can easily pick up how you manage your money—whether you plan before you shop, set aside some money for savings, or spend irresponsibly.
At its core, teaching good money management to your kids boils down to setting the right example. Fortunately, nowadays, teaching your children how to manage their money accordingly has never been easier. Today, you now have access to debit cards for kids and teens. And that’s just for starters.
There are also other innovative financial tools available nowadays designed especially for kids, like apps that allow parents to reward kids chores with money.
Below are seven of the most essential money management tips you should teach your kids:
1. Allow Them to Earn Their Own Money
According to a 2019 survey conducted by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), at least two-thirds of parents gave their kids allowances when they helped out with the chores. Kids earn an average of $30 per week based on five hours of chores.
If you want your children to become good at saving money, you need to encourage them to start saving once they start earning, no matter how small. It would also be a good idea to get them into the habit of consistently setting aside a percentage of their earnings.
2. Teach Them How to Set a Savings Goal
To most children, being told to save is pointless if they don’t know the rationale behind it. Having a savings goal is also a great way to encourage and motivate them to save. Also, if they have a savings goal, it’s easier to make them attainable by breaking them down into manageable bites.
3. Provide a Place Where They Can Save Money
Once your kids have identified their savings goal, they need to know where they can stash their cash. For younger kids, a piggy bank would be ideal. However, for older kids, consider helping them set up their own savings accounts. Nowadays, you also have the option to get them a debit card designed especially for kids.
4. Teach Them How to Track Their Spending
Part of wise money management is knowing where your money goes. For adults, tracking expenditures can be done easily using a bank app or other means. For children, tracking expenses is easier if done the old-fashioned way. Each time they get an allowance, have them write down their purchases daily.
Have them add up everything at the end of each week. Sit down with them at the end of each week and help them see how they have been spending their money and what aspects they need to improve on. Aside from their spending patterns, you can also help them realize how much faster they can attain their savings goals if they have good spending habits.
5. Provide Savings Incentives
One of the enticing reasons many employees take advantage of the employer’s retirement plan is the matching contribution provided by the company. After all, that’s free money, right? If you have difficulty motivating your kids to save, you can use the same technique to get them started.
If they have big savings goals, consider matching a percentage of what they have saved. Another idea would be to provide a monetary reward when they reach a specific savings milestone. For instance, you can give them $50 as soon as they hit the halfway mark.
6. Teach Them the Value of Delayed Gratification
One of the main tenets of saving is living within your means. If your kids want to buy something and are impatient when it comes to saving for the items they want, act as their creditor so you can teach them the value of delayed gratification.
The catch is to let them pay interest for the money you will lend them. The lesson here is when they save for what they want, they can purchase the item without paying interest.
7. Talk to Them About Money
In a 2021 survey conducted by T. Rowe Price, 41% of parents said they don’t discuss money with their children. Surprisingly, many express embarrassment when bringing up the topic.
However, if you want your kids to learn how to manage their money well, you need to have an open discussion with them about the topic. It is also important that you have regular check-ins with them each week to ensure you keep the conversation going.
Teach kids financial literacy while reading
Reading books about money with your children can be an excellent way to teach them about the value of money and how it works. Choose books that can help them understand concepts like savings, budgeting, and investing at an early age. This way, kids can learn about the importance of making smart financial decisions that will benefit them in the long run.
Some great titles to consider when looking for books on money for kids include “The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble With Money,” “Alexander Who Used To Be Rich Last Sunday,” and “A Smart Girl’s Guide: Money“.
Here’s another great suggestion: Not-So-Common Cents: Super Duper Important Facts About Money You Can’t Afford to Miss – the ultimate book of all things money and an excellent resource to helps kids learn about earning and budgeting money, using a bank account and understanding the history of money, why we use it and how it works.
This book gives young readers a broad look at everything from cash to coins, credit cards to crypto currency and so much more. Find out how money is made, how banks began, why the cost of certain things changes over time and varies around the world, the very cool ways some people have earned big bucks, and how others share their savings to help people in need. Most important? This book gets kids thinking about how to save smart, spend wisely and even how to start making their own money. Featuring a kid friendly layout, engaging and practical information and “Chameleonaire” — a top hat wearing chameleon that pops up throughout the book with cool facts and helpful tips — Not-So-Common Cent$ is designed to entertain while the words educate.
From kids looking to start filling their piggy banks to aspiring entrepreneurs, Not-So-Common Cent$ is packed with important facts about money that kids can’t afford to miss, including:
- The basics of saving (including some brilliant hacks), investing, and interest
- What “credit” really means
- Inventive ways to get your ideas flowing and money growing
- What the stock market is, and how money moves around the world today
- Ins and outs of cryptocurrency and other “new” money
- The importance of giving back?one of the best things a fiscally responsible global citizen can do
- Why being smart with money = a big step toward independence
- How money is made
- Various banknotes and coins from around the world, and throughout history
Win a copy here!
If you want to teach your children smart money management, you need to set a good example first. Start by getting your emergency fund in shape, increasing your 401(k) plan contributions, or opening a 529 savings account.
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