Personal Finance Lessons Every Kid Should Learn
School is back in session. With young minds refreshed and eager to learn, now is an ideal time to start teaching children smart financial habits. What you instill in them now will play an important role in how they learn to save, spend and manage their money.
Help your kids avoid some painful mistakes by teaching them these four simple financial lessons that should follow them well into adulthood:
Lesson #1: Money doesn’t grow on trees. Is "I want this" a common request from your children? If so, now is a good time to explain to them that money is earned or repaid. This can help them start to understand the value of money. Consider taking your children to the bank to learn first-hand how money is saved—or help them open a savings account to practice how to save early on.
Lesson #2: Saving is rewarding. While they may not like this idea at first, teaching children how to save their money in order to buy what they want will be an invaluable lesson and unforgettable experience for them. Just wait for the smile on their face when they hand their money to the cashier and receive the item they had saved to purchase. It is then that they will understand the reward that awaits them when money is saved for a purpose.
Lesson #3: Good things come to those who wait. While children practice saving their every penny to purchase a special item, it is important to teach them that good things do come to those who wait. The sooner they learn this principle, the less apt they will fall into the “buy now, pay later” mentality—which is common for those that fall into credit card debt.
Lesson #4: Practice healthy skepticism. Manufacturers are constantly finding ways to get people to buy their products with sales tricks that could actually end up costing consumers more money. You may want to consider teaching your kids to have a healthy dose of skepticism before they spend their money. This way they learn to resist the urge to buy every product advertised or take ad messages to heart—such as, if you don’t have a certain toy, you won’t be one of the popular kids.
There are many ways to teach a child about money management. Visit websites like consumerfinance.gov for age-appropriate activities and conversation starters. Also consider using an app to help teach about budgeting and saving.
If you would like additional tips to instill financial lessons early on with your children, please contact us!