I believe that it’s never too early to start teaching your kids about money. This probably stems from the fact that as a child my parents never spoke about money.
When I was about sixteen my best friend had gotten a job and opened up her own checking account. Her mother made her balance her checkbook and pay for her purchases by check so that she could learn.
I didn’t even know how to write a check.
I’m lucky that even though I had very little financial guidance I am a still money-savvy adult. But some of my other family members near my age weren’t so lucky. And judging by the debt level in the United States they’re not alone.
Here’s how I’m teaching my kids about money.
They’re Earning Their Own Money
My daughters are 4 and 5 and are finally to the point where they can accomplish basic chores without my help. But this has been a slow process.
While I generally don’t believe kids should be paid to do chores I do give my kids opportunities to earn their own money.
For instance, if I’m cleaning the whole house and want the girls to clean their room I’ll pay them each a dollar. Likewise, if one of my daughters (usually my oldest) asks if there’s anything she can do to earn money I’ll give her a job.
I love the fact that they are now asking for jobs to earn money!
They’re Spending/Saving Their Own Money
I should probably mention that the reason they are asking to earn money is because I let them spend the money earned.
Here’s how our new system works: If they receive large cash gifts of $20 or more their money gets put in their college savings account. But if they earn a dollar here and there or receive one dollar bills from family members they save them in their bank account and can spend them.
This last weekend we went on a trip to the flea market and they each brought $7 with them. They combed through all of their options before making any purchases. They got to see how far their money could go and got to count out and pay the dealers.
This was the big leagues for them!
They both shopped smart bringing home items they’ll actually use (which included a new cup and some pony tail holders for my youngest!) My oldest daughter even had money leftover which she put back in her piggy bank.
They’re Learning About Goals
Both of my daughters received Build a Bear gift cards last Christmas.
I took them to get a teddy bear and was shocked by the price. We ended up paying around $50 for each bear!! Unfortunately, my oldest daughter has not stopped talking about Build a Bear since we went. This was a magical experience for her.
And since I refuse to pay $50 for a stuffed animal, her new goal is to save $50 so she can go again.
She is determined to have enough money to get another bear. And since this is what she really wants I’m more than happy to let her work toward it.
They’re Learning That Giving is Good
My main goal in raising my kids is to make sure they give everyone a fair shot. I genuinely believe that you should be nice to everyone (without being a pushover, of course.)
There are so many people in this world who really have it bad: homelessness, terminal illness, and extreme poverty.
So when I heard of a family that had just adopted their grandchildren I encouraged my kids to help. We went through all of their clothes and gave away a lot of things that no longer fit them.
Knowing that the new little girl loved Mickey Mouse my youngest daughter happily gave up her Mickey Mouse blanket to help a little girl that needed it more than her. It seriously touched me when she did this.
While they’re not yet giving away money they are more than willing to help those less fortunate than them by giving away their possessions.
I seriously think they’d giveaway anything if they thought it could help someone else. And for that I’m a proud Mom!
There are so many ways you can begin to teach your kids about money.
By showing your kids how you manage money and getting them involved you can teach them a wealth of information that will help prevent them from
How do you teach your kids about money?
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.