As a parent, it’s never too early to start instilling good habits into your little one. Teaching them important money lessons while they’re still kids is giving them knowledge that will last them a lifetime. Financial skills are an essential aspect of navigating life, so it’s surprising that many kids don’t begin considering money until they’re well into their teens. That said, children as young as three years old can grasp concepts about money, such as spending and saving.
If you’re ready to teach your children about money but you’re not sure how to get started, check out the below tips for helping school-aged children grasp important money principles. Learning about money doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, you may find that your child has fun with many of these lessons.
Lead by Example
You are your child’s chief role model, so if you’re practicing good money habits, your child will likely learn from your example. Kids as young as seven years old form lifelong money habits. If you set a healthy example for them to follow, your child will be more likely to have a healthier and more level-headed attitude about money.
Make learning about money fun. Buy a toy cash register and play store to teach your child the basics of managing their money and adding up prices.
Once they understand this basic concept, it’s time to let them help you shop. The most valuable lessons happen when children have money of their own to spend. When you go to the store with your child, try giving them $2 to help you choose the family’s groceries. You can give them options about what they can buy, which will provide them with the experience of making choices with money.
Use Jars for Saving, Spending and Sharing
When your child is old enough to receive money, whether for their birthday or for doing chores, give them a visual representation of what having money of their own entails. While most kids spend every dollar they get immediately, even young children can learn a better way.
Label three jars — one for saving, one for spending and one for sharing. When your child gets money, have them divide it equally among the jars. They can use their spending jar for anything they wish, such as inexpensive candy or toys. The sharing jar is to be used to help someone else. The savings jar can be put toward more expensive items.
Help Your Child Set a Savings Goal
If your child wants to buy a toy or another item that’s a little pricey, teach them the concept of saving. It’s important, however, to set them up for success. If it’s something they won’t be able to afford for months, offer to match their savings so that they can reach their goal within a reasonable time frame.
Show Them That Stuff Costs Money
More and more, we rely on swiping a card rather than using cash. This simple act doesn’t allow them to see that money is finite. Instead, take cash to the store so that they can see you use it. When it’s time for them to spend their own money, grab a few dollars out of their jar, and let them hand the money to the cashier. The action of handing over their cash will teach them more than a lecture about finances.
Avoid Impulse Buys
Whether it’s you or your child, avoid the allure of impulse buys. If your child has saved money and now wants to use it to buy something, have them wait at least a day before purchasing anything over $15. This waiting period will teach them to have a level head when it comes to making any decisions about their money.
Encourage Charitable Giving
While saving is an essential aspect of being responsible with one’s money, so is giving to others. With the money they save in their sharing jar, let them choose who to share these finances with, whether it’s a charity, church or someone they know who needs help. This jar will help them see that money is a tool that can be used to help others.
Fostering Inspired Learning at Haymarket Children’s Academy
For a premier early education experience in the Gainesville, Virginia area, you won’t find a better option than Haymarket Children’s Academy. Providing play-based learning, our highly experienced team of caregivers give lessons that foster inspired learning in young children. Whether we’re teaching lessons that will instill in your child the value of money or encourage them to grow and thrive with meaningful values like diversity and integrity, we strive every day to facilitate educational growth in the children under our care.