Learning to manage finances wisely is one of the most important skills we can teach our children. Many of us look back and wish we had made better decisions earlier. While we cannot go back and change time, we can teach our children to avoid the same mistakes. There is no age too young to learn about managing finances. Here are some methods for children of all ages.
Set an Example
One of the best things parents can do is set a good example. These little eyes are watching you, as well as little ears. They can hear their parents arguing about money. Be open with your children and set a healthy example. There is no shame in saying no if you don't have money for the thing they want.
Don't Give Allowances
This doesn't mean you shouldn't give your child money, you absolutely need to. However, don't give them an allowance for simply existing. Pay them based on the amount of work they do around the house. You have to earn your money, and they should as well. This is an important lesson to learn early in life. The chores they complete to earn the allowance should consist of things they have to go out of their way to do. Some ideas are vacuuming or mowing the lawn.
Show the Value of Money
Once your children begin to earn money, it is important to show them real-life costs of items. If they want a toy, have them take their money to the store, look at what they can buy, and hand the money to the cashier. Simply talking to them about money isn't nearly as effective as a real-life lesson.
Open a Bank Account
When your child reaches the age of a teenager, they should have their own bank account. Professionals know that a simple account is all they need. After they have learned the basics, it is time for them to branch out on their own, but still be closely monitored. With their own bank account, they will learn to manage their money firsthand.
Teach Them to Save
Learning to delay gratification and save money instead is a great lesson to learn before they become adults. Not enough adults have savings accounts. While they are young, teach your children that money is finite and shouldn't be spent all at one time. Offer to match their savings amount for an incentive.
Find a Job
Depending on their age, having a job is a fine expectation for your child. Schoolwork is first; don't let it impede their ability to score well. However, they have plenty of open time to earn money outside of their chores. Many retail stores hire teenagers. They can also start their own business for babysitting, lawn mowing, snow shoveling, and more.
Encouraging your children to learn their money now will better their future. Millions of people fail at budgeting their money wisely and increase their debt level. Teach them early so they can make wiser decisions later.