Talking about money with your children may seem premature, but doing so in an age-appropriate manner can be useful and educational. Money management skills are best learned young so one can make better financial choices as they get older, and it’s smart for kids to pick up good habits at that time as well. Because, when it comes to your children, you want only the best for their future.
Preparing for adulthood is never easy, and it’s even harder going into adulthood not knowing anything about money. Instead of worrying about your child growing up with financial issues, teaching them young about the basics of healthy finances is a great way to alleviate that stress. Here are a few age-appropriate ways you can teach your child about the value of money:
- Let them earn an allowance to learn about budgeting and saving. In exchange for chores at home, give your child a fixed allowance and schedule a day and time to pay them. Treating an allowance like a paycheck by maintaining the amount and the pay schedule is a great way to introduce your child to the working world, all in the safe confines of home. Use this time to talk to your child about what they plan to do with their allowance, or upcoming social events where they may spend money.
- Understand that modern technology has changed the financial landscape. Before you start talking to your child about money, remember they live in a different world than the one you were raised in. Because of mobile banking and online bill pay, they may know nothing about carrying a checkbook or receiving paper bills in the mail. Shopping on Amazon and other websites has replaced a significant part of the in-person shopping experience. Because so much of the financial world has become an interactive digital experience, your child will learn about money in a different way.
- Use your mobile phone bill to break down the bill paying process. Your child likely doesn’t know how the bill pay process works, and using a mobile phone bill can help you break it down in an understandable way. Because these bills have a number of line items – monthly service fees, taxes, data packages, and so on – your child can visualize these expenses. Once they’re familiar with how these charges work, show them your bill online and challenge them to find ways to save on their mobile plan.