Understanding the concept and value of money is an important life skill that can help set kids up for financial success long into their adult lives. However, financial education is not always covered extensively in school curriculums. But parents can do a lot to help ensure their children learn important lessons about money early on.
Fortunately, the learning process does not have to be boring or difficult. In fact, it can be fun and engaging for kids from grade school to high school.
Make it relatable. A wonderful way to illustrate money concepts to kids is by using real-life examples and situations that are familiar to them. For instance, when grocery shopping, you can explain the importance of comparing prices on boxes of their favorite cereals to help them understand whether Peanuty Puffy Puffs or Choco Cowabunga Crunch is a better bargain.
Tangible teaching tools. With younger children, it can be especially helpful to use physical objects — like coins, piggy banks, or their own toys — to bring financial lessons to life. You could put the actual money in front of different items like a teddy bear and a board game, for example, and ask them which one costs the most or the least.
Gifts that keep on giving. Allowances, birthday, or holiday gifts can also be a fantastic opportunity to introduce kids to the concept of saving money. Encourage them to put aside some of their gift money to buy something they really want, like a toy or game. Then show them ways they can track their progress and celebrate the achievement with them when they meet their savings goal.
Learning while earning. For older kids, money earned through an allowance, babysitting, lawn mowing, or part-time job experiences can be a fantastic opportunity for early financial education. And when your child starts bringing home a paycheck, you can teach them about taxes and budgeting.
Teaching your teens. As your child enters their later teenage years, they may face new financial challenges, like paying for car costs. You can help by teaching them about budgeting for recurring expenses such as gas, insurance, and maintenance when they get their license. And if they are planning on college, you can discuss the importance of managing debt responsibly and the potential long-term financial consequences of carrying student loans.
Start Early with WellCents Kids and Teens
Instructing your kids about money can help set them up for a brighter financial future, so begin the conversation early. If you are looking for additional resources, WellCents Kids and WellCents Teens videos, available on YouTube, are an excellent place to start. These informative videos cover topics like budgeting, saving and smart shopping — and are presented in a fun, accessible way. By using these resources, kids can begin to develop important financial skills that can benefit them throughout their lives.