Research has shown that children learn the basic concepts of money by the time they are just seven years old. What this essentially means is that their parents’ spending habits begin to imprint on them at a much younger age than that which was previously thought. So, instead of avoiding any discussions about the family finances with them because they are so young, it actually helps to include them in some of the talks. That way, they have a much higher chance of growing up to be financially responsible adults. But in order to be sure that they get the financial lessons across in a way that they will understand, it helps to try using some of the following kid-friendly ideas.
Use the Three-Jar System
The three-jar system is a simple method of teaching children of any age how they need to divide the money that they get. In order to use it, all you need is three small jars that have lids, some masking tape, and a marker. Begin by applying a small strip of masking tape to the front of each jar. Then, write the word “savings” on one of them, “spending” on another one, and “donating” on the last one. Each time that they get money as a gift or from doing their chores, have them put a portion of it in each of the jars. The savings jar should receive the highest portion of their money though.
Give Them an Hourly Wage
It is often difficult for children to understand that in order to get money, you have to work for it. One way to teach this concept to them is to give them a specific wage for the amount of time that it will take them to complete all their chores. Then, whenever they ask for things at the store, gently remind them about how many hours it will take for them to earn enough money to buy it all. This will help them to stop and think about whether or not they really want to spend their hard-earned cash for frivolous stuff.
Set Up a Financial Plan With Them
A great way to teach children about saving money and avoiding the over-spending trap is to create a simple financial plan with them using something that they want to have. One great example of this is saving up for a pet. Many kids want pets, but they don’t realize all the expenses that are involved in caring for them properly. To get started with a financial plan to obtain a pet, begin by having them help you get a quote on what the pet will cost from the pet store. Then, find out the prices of the food, supplies, and medical costs that they might need. Finally, write all of this down in a way that reflects the total cost and the time it will take them to earn the money that they will need to cover it all.
As you can see, teaching kids about money isn’t that hard if you use some of these easy-to-understand ideas. But remember to start applying them as soon as possible though. That way, they will have a head-start on learning how to save money, avoid overspending, and work towards their financial goals.