If you want to start teaching children about money, then there are two things that you should know. First, it can help set them up for long-term success later in life as adults. Second, because they’re kids, you need to make what you teach them fun.
If you think back on your own life, then you probably have a few financial mistakes under your belt that you don’t like remembering or thinking about. Teaching your kids about money can help them avoid repeating their own errors or bad decisions.
For that matter, you can help yourself to some degree. If your kids turn into financially savvy adults, they won’t be as likely to ask you for any money. They might establish their financial independence sooner rather than later.
So, teaching kids about money is essential. However, there is more than one approach you can take. Some families use allowances, but others don’t.
Things are also likely different from your own childhood. There are now companies marketing debit cards to kids that are still in elementary school. Certain families think it’s great for kids to learn about money as early as they can, whereas others are incensed that kids that age are learning about things like debit cards, even with all the parental controls involved with such things.
Knowing When to Start
If your kids are old enough to play Monopoly or Life, then they’re already aware of the concept of money. You might be shocked to see how many video games involve some kind of currency as a gameplay mechanic. So, you might not have to break the ice with them about the concept in general.
You do need to still talk to your kids about money, though. Talk to them about the money choices that you have to make. They’ll learn a lot from what you tell them, but they learn even more from what you do. At a minimum, have conversations about saving and spending.
Help your kids understand your values, whether it’s buying nice houses and cars or pursuing experiences. Give them some frame of reference to use while they explore their own values. Always help them understand that life is about the many choices everyone makes.
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