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Raising Money-Savvy Kids

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Money makes the world go round, so it’s never too early to teach children a few tricks to help them survive the financial world they will soon inhabit. The lessons can vary depending on how old your children are, but these are definitely some skills that should not be put off until the week before they go off to college. To make these vital lessons somewhat engaging, you can do a few fun activities to help children put them into context. Here are just a few examples to help you out – just don’t use Monopoly unless you want a civil war to break out.

Chores And Earning Money

On the one hand, this could be seen as bribing kids to do something that they should already be doing, but on the other hand it does teach them the concept of earning money for offering services. The best of both worlds is figuring out a fair price for all the chores they do; cleaning their room is something they should be doing anyway, so it’s worth less money.

Clearing out the attic/garage/basement is not something they’re expected to do, so they will earn more money for doing it. The trick is to make it optional. All children eventually want money for something, and if they know they’ll only get it by completing chores, then they’re less likely to pester you for it.

Borrowing

Eventually, your children will want more expensive “toys” such as phones. Although they will understand the concept of saving money, it is a little too much to ask them to save hundreds of dollars for a phone, when you might prefer that they have one for emergencies. In which case, it’s time to introduce the concept of borrowing money. Agree to pay for the phone, with the understanding that they will pay you back a certain amount (you can either keep this money, or put it towards a birthday gift).

If your children can handle some more in depth lessons, you can even visit lending websites, or debt management sites such as consolidatingdebt.co, so they can learn a bit more about some real life consequences of borrowing too much money. Chances are your children will accumulate a lot of debt when they go off to college, buy a car by themselves, or put a down payment on a house. Debt is a part of life, and you won’t always be able to help them. It’s best to teach them about help available for worst case scenarios before they really need it.

Budgeting

If you and your partner try and stick to a family budget each week, then get the kids involved in the planning as soon as they can count high enough. The sooner they learn how to plan meals for the week, and not spend money set aside for bills, the better off they will be when they have to fend for themselves.

You can find more ways to teach kids financial responsibility at moneymanagement.org.

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About Author

Ben is a follower of Christ, a rabid computer geek, small business owner, and breaker of things. He is married way above his station in life and has three wonderful children who have made driving him insane their mission in life.

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