We get it, teaching kids about money isn’t the easiest of tasks. They’re young, wild and they still think everything’s free.
Trying to sit them down for an hour-long lecture on income taxes probably won’t go over too well. But, if you sprinkle in some financial advice into everyday activities, they’re bound to pick up on some of it.
Share a few simple money tips here and there. Play money games every once in a while. And suddenly, you’re handing out money lessons like it’s your job.
Money Tips for Kids
Try some of these tips to start practicing solid financial decisions at home.
Teach the difference between things you want and things you need.
Young kids don’t understand that groceries don’t just magically show up in the fridge each week or that being an adult doesn’t come with a free car. Help your kids understand that there are certain things you need to spend money on, and that you always have to take care of those expenses first.
Explain the basic principles of saving and spending.
Set your kids up with one jar labeled “Savings” and one labeled “Spending,” and help them save up money to learn the difference between the two. Once they get rolling, add in a third jar for “Sharing.” This can be a great way to teach them about charity and how their money can be used to help other people too, not just themselves.
Help them save up for an expensive item.
Start off by creating a wish list with all the coolest toys or gadgets or shoes or whatever else they might want. Next, help them pick out something that will take a little while to save up for. Once they finally hit their goal, they’ll have an item that they will cherish in a whole new way.
Set up their first bank account.
Once they’ve got a little bit of their own money, help them set up and manage their first bank account. The younger they can learn these skills, the better. Being there to help monitor their first few financial moves will make things less stressful for you and them.
Useful Tools To Teach Kids About Money
Helpful Games & Apps Breaking out some good old-fashioned board games can be a great way to teach your kids money management skills. There’s also some really useful, financially focused apps out there. Here are some great options for both.
Monopoly. It might take a while to get through a full game, but your kids will learn a ton along the way. The world’s most popular board game revolves around investing, building wealth, and buying and selling real estate.
The Game of Life. The main lesson they’ll learn here is that you never know what might come next in life. Whoever can react to whatever’s thrown their way, and “retires” with the most money, ends up the winner.
Payday. Players start off with a paycheck and a monthly calendar and go from there, navigating their way through bills and property deals as they go. This is a great way to introduce kids to the basic concepts of budgeting.
Change Maker. This online game’s easy to understand, but also extremely practical. Recommended for kids in grades 3 and 4, Change Maker helps young kids understand how to quickly count and make change after purchases.
FamZoo. This 5-star virtual family banking app gives you the chance to teach your kids exactly how a banking account works, without actually having to set one up for them (or running the risk of banking fees.) It has financial education tools designed for everyone from preschoolers to college students. Check out FamZoo.com to get all the details.
Savings Spree. This award-winning app teaches the impact of daily spending habits through some game-show style fun. It tests financial knowledge with real-world situations, giving users the choice to spend, invest or donate their winnings however they please.