With the potential of student loans and credit card debt looming in their future, being intentional about providing your child with good financial know how could not come a moment too soon. Patrina Dixon integrates valuable lessons into everyday life that YOU can teach your child.
Begin by introducing the basics. Kids between the ages of 4-8 are very impressionable. They often watch and try to mimic actions including; money moves of their parents, family members, and favorite TV personalities. Beyond the obvious first step of saving the spare change into a clear jar, take your child inside your local branch to make your transactions. Let them see you deposit cash in the bank and go inside to make withdrawals. They will learn through the process, that you can only withdraw if you have money to do so. Your child will see that the ATM is NOT the “free money machine,” and think that whenever you needed some, you just drive up to it, press some buttons and receive money.
Make money part of everyday life. Another way of engaging them in your financial routine is to have your youngster participate in prepping for grocery shopping. While at the grocer, show them the things you plan to purchase and how much it will all cost. Comparing the differences in prices for the same item, such as generic vs. name brand, as well as quantity sizes and sales, will service in broadening their range in decision making. Then at the register, when the cashier tells you the total, have them count out the cash to give to the cashier. This will aid them in beginning to understand that you can only buy what you have enough money for.
Help them make the work-for-pay connection. From the ages of nine through 12, kids should be helping around the house, which would typically earn them an allowance. This is a great way to introduce the concept of working in order to get paid. Furthermore, there is potential to learn conceptually that the more work you do, the more you can get paid. When they get their allowance, you can teach them to save a portion and allow them to spend a certain amount. If there is a big ticket item they really want, have them do additional chores or other handy work around the house. Ultimately, you will reward them with more money, for the extra work. This makes it the perfect opportunity to show them that the more they save, the more money they will have for the desired, bigger ticket item.
Use every financial tool at your disposal. By the time your teen gets to their sophomore or junior year of high school, cultivating strong money skills will be essential. With social media playing a big part in their lives, posts of their friends getting their first car or the latest tech gadget will drive their natural inclination for more – but don’t give up! This is a great time to help them think about their short and long term financial goals and how to obtain them. A visit to your local banker to open a simple bank account and personal debit card will serve as a great tool to help them keep track of how much they are saving, spending and managing electronically while preparing them to better manage things as they become of age. A positive aspect of the social media component? Consider this age group’s desire to hear various perspectives on how to make and\ manage money. Watching Youtube videos and listening to financial podcasts with your youngster could be a great way to stay connected as he or/she explores the financial landscape. You never know, you could learn a little something too.
Patrina Dixon is an Award-Winning Author/International Speaker and Certified Financial Educator. To learn more about her work and services be sure to visit http://www.itsmymoneyjournal.info.com