They Grow Up So Quickly: Age-Appropriate Finance Tips to Share with your Kids
If you’re a parent, you’ve undoubtedly heard gobs of well-intentioned advice about how to teach your kids about money. Some may have been sage advice; some of it may have made no sense at all. In the interest of resolution of money conflicts even from a very young age, we are pleased to present the following age-appropriate tricks that can help your kids learn to handle their finances.
Youngsters should start to save early
Money experts agree that a person’s lifelong money habits are pretty much established by age seven. Saving can start early. In fact, it’s a fine idea. Piggy banks offer a hefty incentive to save, but they’re awfully easy to break into. Let your little one slip pennies and dimes into a pink piggy, but when they’re ready for a real bank account, take them to visit a real bank.
Joys of saving
Sit with a representative from your primary financial institution and talk about how a savings account works. Discuss interest and other aspects of a bank or credit union savings account. Once you’re assured that your child understands what they’re getting into, co-sign for their account.
Kid-friendly savings accounts are available at numerous banks and credit unions. Look for an account that allows parents and child to make deposits but restricts withdrawals to the adult named on the account. Look for an account that comes with an ATM card and teaches your kid how to create and use a memorable personal identification number, or PIN.
Tween-agers and legal tender
Tweens may not be able to buy a big-ticket item on their own quite yet, but they’re old enough to pay the sales tax. When kids save their allowance or work to earn money to pay the tax, it helps them learn the actual value of money, says FamZoo magazine.
Under the condition that they keep up with school work, allow your pre-teen to take small jobs in the neighborhood. Babysitting, mowing lawns and walking dogs are are great first jobs that can give a tween a sense of how it feels to spend (or save) monies they earn themselves. If your own finances are less than perfect, speak with a credit counselor about how to get a loan with a history of bad debts. Show your child that paying off bills is the right thing to do.
This is a good time for kids to learn the true cost of owning something. Basic games that include additional purchases, dolls that need more and more outfits and other amusements that cost more than the original prices teach valuable lessons about total costs of ownership. This sort of learning is bound to last a lot longer than merely telling a tween about how much things actually cost.
Raising kids is a big joy that happens to come with enormous responsibility. Some of that responsibility involves teaching children valuable lessons about how to best manage money in their future lives.