If we want to give our kids the best chance in the future, teaching them good money habits needs to be on the list. Kids learn by example, but they also learn by inclusion and letting them make their own choices and mistakes.
Open a Bank Account/RESP
When your kids are little, open them a bank account and/or RESP. We used it to put all the money the kids got for gifts when they were too young to make decisions to spend it themselves. Now that they are older its important to show them how valuable savings are and let them put aside some money for savings, some for spending etc. Show them how their money is growing so that they can be included as they get older.
Help Kids Discover the Satisfaction in Sharing
Showing kids the value in “spreading the wealth”, “giving back” and how satisfying and important it is to help others when possible is a wonderful thing to instill in children.
Encourage Learning Through Play
There are lots of kid-friendly apps and games that can help explain the value of money. Some FREE and low cost examples are: bankaroo, AdVenture Capitalist – Google Play / Apple and Yuby.
But sometimes the simplest of games are the best , especially when kids are toddlers. Games like playing store, house, bank. I always made sure my kids had a cash register and play money/old gift card we pretended was a credit card to play with. As kids get older there are games like Monopoly, Life and Osmo – Pizza Co, where you run your own pizza shop.
** I’ve been meaning to try Pizza Shop, but have not yet – if you have let me know your reviews in the comments below!
Teach your kids the difference between a NEED and a WANT.
If there is something that catches their eye and they decide right then and there that they have to have it, teach them to think about it, mull it over, do some research and if after a specified among of time they still feel like they really need to have it, then let them make that choice (provided they can afford the item themselves).
Involve Kids in Financial Decisions
I don’t know about you but when I was a kid, this was not something parents did. Kids were kept in the dark about finances when I grew up. While you don’t need to stress your kids out about your finances, it is important to include your age-appropriate kids in major decisions that affect the whole family ie. home or vehicle purchases, household changes to save money ie. Teaching kids the value of turning off electronics when not in use, not taking long showers, not wasting food etc as well as decisions like grocery shopping and teaching them the difference between buying generic/brand and using flyers/sales/coupons in making shopping decisions.
Give Kids an Allowance
Giving age-appropriate allowances and letting kids make their own spending choices with the money they earn is greatly beneficial.
Expect them to help with family chores and provide extra income earning opportunities.
Teach your children to have a healthy attitude towards credit. They say start as early as age 10 so kids can understand when to use it, why, how to spend only what they can afford. Using gift cards or other cards from the bank of “mom and dad” that a child can design, and you can have a card holder agreement that you both sign. (source: MoneySense) Check out this great article on how to do this, here.
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