10 Jul Teaching Kids Financial Skills

It’s never too early to begin teaching your children about vital financial skills. And even more, teaching your children about making smart decisions around money can be fun. Here are some ways that you can instill in your kids stronger financial skills that will serve them well for years to come.

Practice everyday decision making.

At the center of good finance is wise decision making. So, one great way to instill strong financial skills in your children early on is to practice weighing the pros and cons of the everyday decisions you make with your children. Weigh the costs and benefits involved in having friends over for a sleepover, or in going to the park versus the movies on a Saturday. Or, help a child decide between buying a shirt or buying a pair of shoes. Apply it to choices in eating as well. Once you begin to develop with your children a habit of weighing the pros and cons when making even the most mundane of decisions, your children will become more prepared to make the bigger decisions—including decisions about money.

Set a purchase goal with your kids.

Another great idea is to help your children come up with something that they want to purchase in the future, and then work with them on saving up for that particular thing. This will help them to understand early on that you need to wait before making major expenses.

Take your kids grocery shopping.

Shopping for groceries is probably the most frequent type of shopping your children will practice as they grow into adulthood, so it’s a great idea to show them the many financial decisions involved in grocery shopping while they’re still young. Let them help you cut coupons for the foods and products you frequently buy, and take them with you to both wholesalers and supermarkets so that they can see how you save money by buying certain foods at each. You can even try letting them complete a transaction on their own at the grocery store, giving them a few dollars to select something that is on sale.

Play a game of comparison shopping.

Gather ads from various local stores and tell your kids that they have X amount of money to spend at those stores. Consider giving them a short list of “needed items” as well, and then challenge them to stretch their dollars as far as they can with the things they select from the various ads.

Hold a lemonade stand, or a garage sale.

A lemonade stand and a garage sale are both great real-life environments where you can teach your kids about investment, profit, making transactions, and counting money. Help your child hold a lemonade stand, or have them help out at your next yard sale, so that they can get hands-on experience with money.

Try financial apps geared towards children.

As money moves more and more in the direction of digital, it only makes sense to familiarize children with the tools they have at their disposal for making smart financial decisions. A great way to do this is to get them started with apps that actually teach fundamental financial skills. There are games that can help children become familiar with the concepts of earning and using money, where they virtually run their own businesses. Then there are games geared towards challenging kids to save as much money as they can, and creating budgets for fictional characters. Your kids will learn about smart budgeting while having fun at the same time.

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