Teaching kids to be responsible with money and teaching them how to be fiscally responsible is a huge challenge. From the moment they are able to ask for things there are opportunities to teach kids about how to manage their money. It doesn’t matter if they’re 3 or 13 there’s always more to discuss.
As a mom of four I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve. Below you’ll find 11 tips to help you teach your kids about money.
11 Tips for Teaching Kids About Money
- Set family goals. Setting family goals will help you work together as a team to spend less, save more, and achieve family goals. Younger kids may have small suggestions like saving up to go to the movies while older kids may want family goals to be larger like saving for a week long vacation.
- Start a family piggy bank. From a young age kids love to find money, count it, and save it. Create a family piggy bank to save for something everyone wants like a swing set for the backyard or a trip somewhere special. We’ve saved for a number of family goals this way and even if the savings don’t cover the full cost it certainly helps!
- Teach kids how to find the best prices. Savings can be significant when you hunt down the best price. Help kids shop for the best price by starting at the grocery store. When our kids were preschoolers I gave them a budget for items like a snack food or a box of cereal. Then we could move on to back to school shopping or clothes shopping. They’ve learned to research and hunt for better deals on whatever they want to buy.
- Teach the difference between cash, credit, and checks. Since we use credit more than cash now the differences may not be as obvious to kids. It’s important for them to understand the benefits and drawbacks of all three.
- Show them your pay stubs. For older kids it’s important to share the nuts and bolts of managing money. While it may be unusual to show your kids your pay stubs it can be an important tool for teaching kids. Then they understand how much of your paycheck goes to some guy called FICA.
- Share the family budget. Likewise sharing the full family budget can be incredibly eye opening for kids. $1,000 may seem like a lot of money until they realize that you spend that much on your mortgage each month.
- Start a bank account for tweens and teens. Tweens and teens should have a bank account and an attached savings account to help them manage their own money. Check with your local bank and find out what options they offer.
- Share the magic of interest. The magic of interest can be a big motivator to save from a young age. Recognizing that money can grow can be a game changer for kids.
- Have kids track stocks. While it may not be financially sensible to actually purchase stocks, allowing kids to follow a stock and track its’ growth can be a great way to teach them about the stock market and investments.
- Talk college costs with older kids. College costs are rising and most families can’t keep pace with their college savings. It’s important to talk to your kids as they get older about what you can and can’t cover, options they may have, and their own thoughts on their education. There are many options and ways to cut costs, but the key is to be clear about what costs you can and can’t cover.
- Help your school teach fiscal fitness. If your school doesn’t currently have a financial curriculum in place share the Discover Pathway to Success program with them. You can help your school apply for a grant.
Resources to learn more:
Discover’s Pathway to Financial Success Program has great resources to help guide your discussion, teach kids, and a curriculum for schools, too. You’ll find videos on how to talk to your kids about money, resources for parents on being a good financial role model, games for kids to play, and suggestions for teachers and schools.
What tips do you have for talking to your kids about money?
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Discover as part of the Discover Preferred Network.