We often hear people say that they didn’t really learn about managing a budget until they’re an adult. Many of these personal finance lessons can be taught starting at quite a young age, though. We’ve pulled together a list of ways to teach kids about money so that you can set them up for success later on.
Set an Example
You had to know this one was coming. Kids can pick up on more than we give them credit for. Keep in mind what sort of example you might be setting for them.
Stuff Doesn’t Equal Respect (or Love)
We often convince ourselves that having certain items, like a fancy car, is going to get other people to respect us. And we assume that we can only show love through gifts. Both of these ideas aren’t great in the long run.
Explain That Things Cost Money
You don’t want them to get too caught up in it too early, but let them know that the things they use cost money.
Let Them Struggle
Not too much, mind you. Just enough so that they understand they can’t always get what they want just because they want it.
Get Them to Think Long Term
Building up savings requires you to put off buying what you want now so that future-you can have something better. This can be a difficult concept for kids (and even many adults) to really practice.
Teach Them About Marketing
Help them take a peek behind the curtain. Why do grocery stores put certain items in the check stand, for example?
Explain Charitable Giving
Something that can be tough to avoid is accidentally teaching your kids to be too focused on saving money. Remind them that they should be generous sometimes, too.
Being Happy for Free
Make sure you spend time where you can doing free things that bring your family plenty of happiness and joy.
Teach Them About Debt
Credit cards can seem like free money to an 18 year old who doesn’t know much about interest rates.
Have a Plan
Some people want to only pay their kids for chores. Others want to avoid tying family responsibility to getting paid. Whatever your stance, think it through and try to stick with it if it’s working.