| Hi Taylor:
I've been trying to be productive with all this extra time I'm spending
with my kids. They're pretty young, 7 and 9, but I'm wondering if
there are lessons about money I can try to teach them? - Julie
Hi Julie: I don't think it's ever too early to start teaching
kids about money. A lot of what you teach won't stick, but it's all
foundational stuff at this point and absolutely worth the effort.
Here are a few simple ways you can get started.
talk about it. A big part of kids learning to talk is just
speaking with them consistently. The same can be said when you
start teaching them about money. As you pay for something with
a credit card, talk about how that process works. Explain why
certain items go on sale and then talk about how great it is to
pay less for something. Don't worry about stuff sailing over their
heads, because it's all part of a process.
2. Make saving fun. Collect all your pennies in a jar and
go get ice cream when you have a few dollars. Roll quarters together
to show what $10 looks like. Make a chart with goals so every
purchase feels like an accomplishment. When we get exhausted by
life, we tend to buy toys and video games with haste to provide
that instant gratification. If you can make the build-up to the
buying enjoyable, you teach a good lesson while spending less
in the long run.
3. Explain income. At seven and nine, your children are entering
the phase where these lessons will actually sink in. After you
tell them how money works, explain how you got the money in the
first place. Don't shy away from talking about salaries and earnings.
At some point you'll have to talk about why some families make
more or less than others, so don't hesitate to touch on the subject
early. If you're open and honest about these topics, it will make
all the money issues easier to discuss. You'll get less pushback
on allowances and vacation spending and the budgeting you do will
start to have some context in your kids' eyes.
| I take a lot
of pride in trying to teach my kids about money, even though sometimes
it feels like I'm explaining quantum theory. Keep at it and try to
make the process as fun as you can. Thanks for writing!
© Taylor Kovar
August 4, 2020
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