We get a lot of our character traits from our parents – the good and the bad.
The example you set now and the lessons you teach your child with stick with him for life. And if you want your child to grow up and be responsible when it comes to finances you need start teaching your child the value of money now.
Here are six ways you can teach your kids about money.
# 1 – Say No A Lot
Going into a store with young kids is no joke. There’s something your little one wants in almost every aisle of the store and it is sooo easy to give in.
But if you always give in your child will begin to feel a sense of self entitlement.
It’s hard to do, but you need to say “no” a lot. There may be some screaming and crying in the beginning but the more you say no the easier it will become.
# 2 – Set an Example
There’s no one a child looks up to more than her parents. If you want your child to be smart with money you need to set the example.
Show your child that there is reward in working hard and saving for a goal. If you don’t want your child to grow up and go deep into debt trying to keep up with Joneses, make sure you aren’t doing this yourself.
Children are highly impressionable and your child is going to mock your behavior.
#3 – Make a Game Out of It
What kid doesn’t like playing games?
From my experience young kids enjoy doing anything if you can turn it into a game. For example, when it comes to cleaning my kids like to count the number of toys they pick up and see who can clean the most.
As far as teaching smart financial habits goes you have plenty of options to turn them into a game:
- Challenge your child to earn and save a certain amount of money in a certain period of time
- Give your child $5 to go shopping with and see how far she can stretch the money
- Play actual board games like Monopoly or the Game of Life
# 4 – Be Open
Talking about money can be taboo in some households, but it shouldn’t be.
While you don’t want to push your concerns about money on your children you should talk to them about money in a positive light. For instance, if your child asks why you can’t buy something right now explain that you have to quit buying certain items so that you can save your money for something bigger.
By sending these messages to children they’ll learn the value of sacrifice and patience.
# 5 – Look for Everyday Opportunities
You don’t always have to be creative or go out of your way to teach your kids smart money management. Some of the best opportunities to do this are presented to you each day.
While at the grocery store teach your child how to shop for the lowest prices. When you have to purchase a birthday gift for someone set a budget and let your child help you pick a gift. When you give to charity explain to your child who you’re helping and why you want to give your money. If your child is old enough let him donate some of his own money.
You can even look for money making opportunities with your child. Help your child coordinate a garage sale. Let your child set up a lemonade stand or sell Girl Scout cookies
Look for those little everyday moments where you can teach a lesson that has a big impact.
# 6 – Don’t Be Obsessive
When it comes to money some people never want to talk about it while others are obsessive. Constantly talking about money, monitoring your spreadsheets, and tracking your accounts can be kind of addictive. (I’ve been there!)
But by going overboard in your teachings your children may think that money is all there is to life.
Meet in the middle. Money is a tool. It’s important your child realizes that delaying gratification and using money wisely is an important part of life. Guide your child in understanding that money can enhance her life but it is not the most important aspect of life.
What ways do you teach your children smart money management?
Alexa Mason is a freelance writer and wanna be internet entrepreneur. She is also a newly single mom to two beautiful little girls. She chronicles her journey as a single mom trying to make it big at www.singlemomsincome.com.