A University of Cambridge study found that children form behaviors about money by age seven. So it’s never too soon to set a positive example for your kids. Here are four easy tips to not only teach your kids that money management is easy and worthwhile, but to also create fun for the entire family:
- A System They Can See: Set up a jar or envelope system. Divide allowance, birthday money, and other earnings into separate containers: “Spend” and “Save.” Make a goal chart with your kids: Do they want a small toy, or something larger, like a trip to Disneyland?Explain how long it will take them to save for each. For every week that they don’t touch their savings, reward them with a snack or fun activity.
- What’s New Isn’t Always Best: Shop a flea market together. Pick out a piece of wooden furniture, and spend the afternoon repainting it with them. And don’t forget that libraries are free, air-conditioned sources of great books and DVDs!
- Talk To Them: When you’re out shopping, or making a grocery list, point out the prices of things. Explain why you’re picking the generic brand, which tastes the same but costs less. Teach them the value of delayed gratification: If they save money by not spending now, they can work toward bigger goals.
- Play!: Pick Monopoly or The Game of Life for game night. These are great ways to teach kids about money.
We can help our kids get into the old habit of learning— and a new habit of saving money. Money doesn’t need to be a mystery; it can be fun!