Help children be good money managers in the future by starting good habits early. Below are 7 money habits you can implement with your children.
Make it fun
Use board games like Monopoly and the Game of Life to incorporate money concepts and starting good habits early. Use a piggy bank or mason jar when helping your kids learn the importance of saving money. Turn it into a craft activity by having your child decorate their piggy bank or mason jar and have them draw and color their savings goal.
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Use cash at the store
Younger kids understand concepts better when working with tangible objects. Debit and credit cards are an abstract concept for younger kids. When possible, use cash when shopping with your children and include them in the shopping experience by: having them help you look for items on your list, asking them how much they cost, comparison shopping and having them count the bills and coins.
Make it an on-going conversation
Don’t wait for milestones in your children’s life (e.g. first job, moving out etc.) to talk about money, make it an on-going conversation. There are many opportunities to incorporate money talks and activities in everyday life, such as holiday spending. These on-going conversations will help children develop good money habits early.
Let them learn from their financial decisions
It’s important to let your children make mistakes while they are under your care. For example, if your child wants to buy a toy but keeps using their allowance on candy or food, it’s important to let them experience the disappointment of not having the toy they want so they understand the importance of delayed gratification.
Use an allowance to teach them how to budget
For younger kids help them budget by showing them how they can distribute their money in spend, save and share categories. This teaches them the importance of saving for the future while spending now and giving back to the community or a worthy cause.
Needs vs Wants
Help your children define their needs and wants. Show your children how to track what they spend their money on, and if each expense is a necessity or just for fun.
Be a role model
Being a role model will go a long way to starting good habits early. Children not only listen to what you say, they also watch what you do. Be an example, by setting good money habits for your own life.
Submitted by: Colleen Hochhausen, Director of Financial Literacy, Money Mentors