It is surprising that our schools do not teach children about money, considering how important financial skills are. Children can learn money habits from adults even when they are as young as three years old. That is why you need to start talking about money with your child as soon as possible if you do not want him/her to grow into a financially frustrated individual. And you need to start now when they are still young. If you would like to teach your kids about finances but don’t know where to start, worry no more. Here are some of the simplest ways you can use to give lasting money lessons to your child.
Be a role model
How and how often do you handle money in the presence of your kids? Whether you believe it or not, little eyes are watching and sooner or later, they will reflect what they see you do. Amazingly, your kids naturally take in more of what they see you do than what they hear you say. Therefore, if you want to have financially smart kids, start by being a role model. For instance, take them to the mall when you go shopping every now and then. Show them how to stick to a budget and how to shop smart by focusing on the price tag and quality and not just the popularity of the product. Remember, every time you keep on slapping down your credit card or argue with your spouse about money, those innocent little eyes are taking notice. Set a healthy example for them.
Use money jars
Use a clear jar to teach your child how to save money. Contrary to using a piggy bank, this clear jar will give them a visual aid, and they will be motivated as they see their money growing every day.
Do not give your child money to put in the jar, but rather give them commissions for doing chores around the house. Additionally, they could save what little money they received from their granny when they went visiting on thanksgiving. Then any time your young one wants to buy a toy, let him grab a few dollars out of the jar. Allow them to learn that every decision they make has a consequence. For instance, if they buy that pair of shoe, they cannot buy the remote controlled toy car.
It is important that you play the waiting game with your kids. What this means is that when your child wants something, for instance, a toy remote car, do not give it to them there and then. Rather, let them know that you cannot have the toy until they save enough money on their own to make the purchase. By delaying their gratification, you are teaching them the art of managing their own finances, and you are more likely to have financially mature children. However, ensure the delay is not for too long. The toy shouldn’t be so expensive that your kids would take way too much time saving for it. They might not get the meaning of the whole process. You can help by beefing up their savings after getting to a certain amount.