Guest Contributor: Katie McAuliffe Campbell. Kate is a respected Financial Advisor who understands kids and the importance of teaching them about money. This article provided by courtesy of Katie McAuliffe Campbell, Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.
6 Tips For Teaching Kids About Money
Among the many responsibilities of adulthood, managing personal finances is one of the most important life skills your kids can learn. Unfortunately, many of us have had to learn about money the hard way, without any formal education on the subject. If you want to help give your kids a head start on the road to financial independence and success, here are some simple tips you can use to teach kids about money now.
1. Introduce kids to dollars and cents
Teach your kids how to count change, and help them understand the value of each coin. Explain how to pay for things. For example, if they find a toy at the store that costs $2.75, show how they would need two $1 bills plus three quarters to pay for this purchase. You can even let them make the exchange at the check-out counter.
2. Explain the concept of earning money.
It’s important for your children to understand how you earn money when you go to work, and also how that money pays for housing, food and the many fun activities your family enjoys. Explain to them the benefits of having a job, and help them appreciate the reason you leave the house each morning.
3. Respect money.
To set a good example for your children, don’t discard pennies or small change. Show them how saving money even small amounts of change in a money jar or spend, save, give bank can add up to a significant sum. Count it out together every few months, and help them pick out something useful they can spend it on.
4. Give your children an allowance.
By providing your children with a weekly allowance, you can teach them both how to save money, and also how to spend it wisely. You can also tie their allowance to weekly chores done around the house, to help them learn the concept of earning their money. It may also be a good idea to pay their allowance in small increments, such as five $1 bills instead of one $5 bill. Dividing their money in this way can help them learn to budget by seeing how they can use a portion of the money to spend on things they want, and also how to save a portion of their earnings as well.
5. Help kids set savings goals to work toward.
If your child wants to purchase a video game or a new item of clothing, work with them to figure out ways to save for this goal. If the item costs $20, help them estimate how much of their allowance they will need to save and how long it will take to save that amount. You can also encourage your child to find ways to make some extra money by picking up additional chores around the house.
6. Match their savings.
One way to teach kids about saving money is by matching a portion of your child’s savings. For example, you could contribute an extra 50 cents for each dollar they put away. Giving them that extra incentive can increase their savings more rapidly and teach them good saving habits at the same time.
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This post was first published June 2018. Updated 2018.
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