I still struggle to realize that my boys will be 5 years old soon, that they are brilliantly smart, and ready to be challenged with more complex lessons. I hadn’t even considered different ways to teach kids about money until they started setting up shop in their bedroom and splitting coins amongst themselves. I asked Melissa from CloudMom to come share her ideas on how to teach kids about money, so that I can get started with my boys just as I hope you will get started with your children!
It really is never too early to teach your child about the power of money. Although they may not be dealing with taxes and bills for another twenty years or so, now can be a good time to start a conversation with your child on the importance of spending and saving wisely. As a mom of 5 in NYC, I feel lucky that my kids will grow up in a place where stock markets, banks, and ATM machines are literally around the corner. In addition to this exposure, here are 5 ways I am implementing financial lessons for children into our everyday lives!
- Start at a young age: As I mentioned before, now is the perfect time to introduce your child to the value of money, especially coins! Since coins don’t have their worth written on them like dollar bills do, it’s even more important for your child to learn the value of each. Perhaps you can start by tracing the coins onto paper in different colors, or by solving simple math equations with the coins. For instance, how much is one penny plus one dime?
- Play Pretend: Are your children getting to the age of imaginary play? Why not expand this creativity into a pretend store out of your own living room? Encourage them to price their pretend food and toys and have them count out the money in exchange for the goods. A great way to teach them the value of products and on commerce in general!
- Make a trip to the store a teachable moment: If you’re bringing your child to the grocery store, this can be the perfect opportunity to share your wealth of knowledge (bad pun) with them. Have him estimate how much all of your items will cost, compare prices between two brands of milk or eggs, or give him some practice clipping coupons for you to use. A guaranteed way to add learning and fun to the most mundane of shopping trips!
- Put your kid’s allowances to good use: Does your child have an allowance? Are her eyes set on a great new game? Teach your child the importance of saving up for future expenses by setting up a savings account and encouraging him or her to make regular deposits! She’ll be so happy when she’s saved enough for that special product or toy, which will only encourage her to save more in the future!
- Consider donations to charity: If your family can afford to donate to charities, it might be a good idea to instill this notion of generosity and giving early on in your child’s life. Have your child research a few charitable organizations they are interested in, and what percentage of each donation dollar goes to their cause. An awesome way to combine learning and social responsibility in one!
So there you have it, five ways to teach kids about money! If you have any ideas for money games for kids or other pieces of advice, share below! I’d love to hear from you!
Melissa Lawrence, co-founder of CloudMom, lives in New York City with her husband and 5 young children. With a few parenting tricks up her sleeve, Melissa posts how-to videos and blogs for parents on a range of issues including baby, toddler, kids, fashion, travel, and well-being.
Follow Melissa’s latest activity by clicking the links below!