Talking to our children at an early age about money is a gift we can give them. When my son Will, who is now 22, and a senior in college, was still in the single digits, I started talking about money with him. It started as most money talks with young children do- having a weekly allowance.
Will and I devised a chart of the chores for which he would be responsible and the amount of money he would get paid for accomplishing each chore. We wrote it down on paper. It was simple, it was effective, and he began to understand the concept of earning his own money. There was also the added bonus of me receiving assistance with keeping our house tidy-a win/win on so many levels.
Teaching Children About Money
When children begin to learn at an early age how money functions, they have a greater appreciation for the value of money. They start to become aware of how much things cost. Children are smart. Soon, they equate how much work they need to do to purchase whatever item they are wanting. It helps them learn to choose with more discretion and thought. These are skills that continue to be useful throughout their lives.
I was still very generous with Will monetarily, especially on his birthday and Christmas. Yet, once he had an allowance it made my impulse purchases in the checkout line at the store become less and less. Not only was Will learning about money, I was learning how to control my spending as a parent.
Will is my only child and it was way too easy to buy him something that he wanted without giving it much thought. The process of teaching Will about money was also teaching me about my relationship with money as a parent. Like I said previously, so many win/wins when we teach our children about money.
There’s An App For That
To help your children learn how credit works at an early age, I highly suggest you check out The Kiddie Kredit app. Is designed to educate youth on how the credit scoring system in the United States works by completing chores.
Evan Leaphart, the founder of Kiddie Kredit says, “It’s my main mission to teach the youth the importance of good financial habits and the importance of credit. It seems, we learn everything else in school, but financial literacy. ” Evan, I couldn’t agree with you more. Why financial literacy is mostly missing from our school system does not make sense but it is a fact. By doing so we are doing them a great lifelong service, so let’s educate our children at home about money,
Talk To Your Children About Saving and Investing
I also started talking with Will about savings and investing. Will would take a portion of almost all the monetary gifts he received (birthday, Christmas, graduations etc.) and put some of the money into a savings account. I was also putting some money into his savings account to help it grow. Will’s dad and I were divorced and Will had a similar savings account with his dad’s bank. A year after Will graduated from high school, he took the money from these savings accounts and opened up his first investment account. That put a huge smile on my face.
Will has time on his side. This is the beauty of teaching our children about money and investing at an early age- money multiplies over time. Will can add to this investment account, open others, open a Roth IRA (Individual Retirement Account), and become more and more comfortable and responsible with money. He is learning at a young to make money work for him. Learning the concept of making money while you sleep. That is freeing.
Teaching Our Children Positive Money Mindset
Another key is teaching our children positive money mindset. There are so many negative connotations about money: “It’s rude to talk about money,” “Money is the root of all evil,” and so many more. These types of quotes and beliefs are the opposite of positive money mindset. Money is fluid, money can be created, and relationships with money can be transformed. It begins with your thought process.
If you are currently not in the best financial situation and you continue to tell yourself you will always be broke, this negative money mindset is seriously hindering your ability to change your financial situation. The thought process precedes the action. Everyone can learn to develop and practice positive money mindset and it will help you transform your relationship with money. Teaching and modeling these money skills for your children are helping them create a positive money mindset at a young age.
Now, think of the advantage we are giving to our children if we teach them positive money mindset. I grew up poor and I refused to believe that would dictate the course of my life. I made a conscious choice to have positive money mindset at a young age and it transformed my life. Yes, I had multiple jobs, saved money, and began investing young but without positive money mindset this would not have occurred.
So when I became a mother, I wanted to teach Will at an early age that he could create a life of freedom and choice. Money is a neutral, we give it the positive or negative charge. So let’s focus on teaching our children positive money mindset and core money skills. It is a win/win on so many levels.
Susan Howell, The MoneyMaestra