5 Ways to Teach Children The Value of Money
Education for the future generation
Children are extremely impressionable and many of the marketing strategies easily influence them to demand toys, clothes and other things that may not fit in your budget.
This is why teaching them about money early is very important for them to appreciate what they have and grow up responsible.
They need to know that you need to put effort into work to get money and that since we highly depend on them in our lives, managing and distributing them right is crucial.
In their childhoods, children aren’t taught that money have their value and it isn’t easy to receive them. Even letters to Santa Claus make them believe that everything they want can easily come true, without realising how actually money works. This is why, we present you with 5 ideas to easily educate them about money and teach them how to use it responsibly.
1. Define a goal
Defining goals and objectives is a great way to develop a culture of saving. Your kids need to know that they can’t get everything they wish for immediately and that they need to put some effort into getting it.
For example, they may want a new toy or to go to Disneyland, but you have to set a goal for them, instead of agreeing right away. Get them a piggy bank and tell them that when they manage to save enough, they can get what they want.
Of course, a trip to Disneyland would require your help, but it is not about the amount, rather than the lesson they would learn. When your child asks you for a toy car at the supermarket, ask them if they really insist on it, or prefer that you put the money into their piggy bank for saving.
Moreover, once they have ‘saved’ themselves and they get their wish, they would feel proud and happy that they have made a contribution and it would create a feeling of responsibility and self-satisfaction.
2. Show them how you work
If your workplace allows it, bring your child one day to work with you. Many kids aren’t aware of what their parents are doing exactly, so it would be an interesting experience for them.
As you probably work around 8 hours a day, at some point, they would get bored, but you can keep them engaged with small tasks, like bringing you a coffee or helping you sort out documents.
If they do not like it, even better- they would know how much effort you put into the job to support the house and would get a better understanding of the ‘adult world’. Make your kids as involved as possible to prepare them and educate them for their future.
3. Give them a ‘job’
Children often don’t know where money comes from and they don’t give it much thought either. You need to explain to them why you go to work and that you get rewarded with money for your efforts.
To give them a practical example of how it works, make them do small errands for you as ‘jobs’ and reward them with something they like, money, toys, candy, etc. Engage them in small tasks that they will be able to do such as helping in the house or walking the dog, to teach them the concept of working.
If your children are a bit older, you may even turn them into young entrepreneurs by helping them open their own ‘business’. Tell them to clear out their room of toys and clothes they no longer wear and organize a garage sale and let them try and sell. You can help them bake cookies or other sweets and open a small neighborhood stand as well.
4. Walk them to the bank
Children see everything paid with credit cards, so they think that money has no limits and that falls from the sky.
Next time you go to the bank, take the children with you. They see everything paid with credit cards or online, so they don’t really understand how it works and may believe that your card gives you unlimited money.
They aren’t familiar with banks and it is hard to explain to them the concept of bank accounts and savings, but a trip to the bank may be an eye-opening experience for them. Clarify to them that the bank is like a storage room for your money- they keep them for you and you use them through your credit card.
Engage your child while in the bank to make them more interested, maybe let them hand over the cash to the cashier and explain that she will put it on your credit card. Don’t go into details if they are too young, but just make sure that they understand the funds in your cards don’t just show up there.
5. Let's go shopping!
Going to the supermarket with the kids is a very effective way to teach them to be responsible consumers and not waste money. Teach them to plan their shopping list before they go and stick to it while in the store.
Explain that the list should have priorities- they should buy milk before coca-cola and bread before their favorite cookies. They need to know that when they buy the essentials- only then they can think about treats.
Also, try to give them little tests in the supermarket. Give them the shopping list and ask what is the most important thing to buy first. Then tell them you have enough money left either for bread or candy and see what they have learned from your lessons.
These are easy and fun ways to teach children the value of money. You can also create your own methods according to what your child responds to the best. However, whatever you do, don’t neglect the need to educate your children about money as early as possible- you will be thanking yourself later.