Children need adults to teach them wise ways of handling money. Here are some age-appropriate lessons in financial reality to teach your kids.
Under Age 6: Take Care of Your Stuff
It doesn’t take long for children to see that their stuff can get lost, broken, or taken. Teach kids to avoid all that by taking good care of their things. This means putting away toys, bringing bikes in out of the rain, and making sure the cat doesn’t shred the Barbie clothes.
Age 6-10: It Takes Money to Get Stuff
At the store, ask kids this age to examine unit prices on the mounted price tags to see what’s the best value. If you pay in cash, you can demonstrate the cost of a cart full of food with a handful of bills. Take a look at the receipt together if you pay with plastic. Either way, it’s time well spent.
Age 11-13: To Earn Money, You Need to Work
Thanks to advertisers, tweens want stuff. At that age, our kids knew they had to make money to buy extra stuff like computer games. We didn’t do allowances, but they could either earn money from us for jobs like washing windows or from others through some kind of business: selling or doing something for money. Either way, they needed to work.
Age 14-18: Think Ahead – Save Up for Stuff
The driving course was expensive, so our son knew he’d need to wait to get his license. That was not okay with him, so he saved up and paid for it himself. Later on, he paid cash for a car the same way using mowing money. He had a business, a goal, and a plan to save more than he spent. This mindset will help teens learn to plan. Later on, it will keep them out of debt.
Teach these lessons to your kids but remember this: they’ll learn best when they see adults being wise with money too. Because we were transparent with our children about our financial goals and challenges, they’re now financially savvy adults.