Every day life is filled with numerous teachable moments for children of all ages. A simple trip to the grocery store, for example, can become a math lesson, an alphabet review, a lesson on manners, and so many other things. This is also a great opportunity to teach kids about money and the value of money. In fact, there are many times to teach kids about money that occur in every day life. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the posts in this series: Raising Money Savvy Kids.
Teaching your child about money takes more than one conversation. Using real life situation and examples will help them pull the concepts together. They’ll learn not only from your words but also through your actions. Here are a few ideas and opportunities to talk to your child about money.
When They Receive Monetary Gifts
When your child receives a gift for their birthday or another holiday, it’s a great time to talk to them about saving some of the money. You can even help them plan how they’re going to save and what to save for.
When You Visit the ATM
The ATM is a magic box that spits out money when you enter a secret code. If only! But that’s what children might think if you don’t talk to them about what the ATM is and how it works. It’s a great opportunity to talk about earning, saving, and making spending decisions.
When You’re Shopping
Chances are that your child goes with you when you head to the supermarket and run other errands. This is an ideal opportunity to explain to your child about budgeting. You can also talk about how different items cost different amounts. You can even ask your child to help you compare prices and find the cheapest priced item.
Paying bills is probably not something that you usually do with your child. However, it’s a great time to talk to your child about what some of the things that they take for granted cost. You can talk about working and responsibilities and how you pay for these expenses each month.
It’s also a good opportunity to talk to your child about different ways to save money and why you might want to save money. For example, you can talk about turning the lights off when they leave a room and using any energy savings to put toward something fun for the family like a vacation.
Creating Your Monthly Budget
Many adults intentionally don’t talk about money in front of their children. However, in many cases that’s a mistake. When children are aware of the family finances and understand about income and expenses, it helps them envisage the big picture.
Of course you don’t want to create added stress for your child if there are financial difficulties. However, involving them in discussions about your budget helps them have a better understanding of money. You can also see my post about creating a family budget to give you a good starting point.
If you give your child an allowance, it’s an opportunity to talk about their decisions and what they’re going to do with the money. Depending on your child’s age you may have requirements for their allowance. For example, you may require them to donate some and save some as well.
With busy lives, it’s easy to overlook opportunities to teach your child about money.
However they’re present almost every day. Take advantage of them from time to time and involve your child in your financial decisions and responsibilities to help them learn, both through words and actions, about money.
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