As our kids grow older we strive to have open conversations about different things like school and friends, but also about more serious topics like money. Money isn’t always the most fascinating topic to a kid, but once we involved our kids in financial conversations, certain things peaked their interest.
Most kids know that their guardian works and makes money. That money is spent on groceries, bills, and sometimes fun stuff. Helping kids understand the value of that money, how to create a budget, and spend money wisely gives them a good foundation for their adult lives.
One of the first things we did with each child is open up a bank account in their name, complete with their own debit card. It encourages our kids to come with us to the bank to check on their balance, deposit birthday and Christmas money into their accounts, and helps them really consider their spending habits.
Their focus is on saving and creating a larger balance in their account, which is great, but I also encourage them to treat themselves once in a while. Whether it’s with a toy or an ice cream cone, it helps them budget their money and spend it wisely. When they treat themselves, they realise the true cost of that purchase but they also know it’s okay to do so on occasion.
Finding the right teachable moment is also important – when you teach them is just as important as what you teach them. Fitting financial lessons into your child’s everyday life will help them learn about money without even knowing it.
An easy way to do this is on a grocery run. Creating a grocery list and striving to stick to a budget can be turned into a game, if you have the time to do so. My daughter and I will make the grocery list together, make a withdrawal of $100, and then go shopping!
During the shopping trip we keep a running track of our purchases in the store, try to substitute an expensive item for a less expensive one, and at the end see if we kept our grocery bill on budget! A good lesson to teach is that if you go over that $100, which item will you put back on the shelf?
These can be difficult choices for anyone, but necessary ones. Sticking to a budget is important whether you’re financially well-off or have hit hard times, and teaching our children this lesson early on is essential.
We also don’t believe in a weekly allowance which may sound odd at first but hear me out! A weekly allowance that stays the same each week makes no sense to me. we don’t have a checklist of chores that need to be done each week. Instead, we provide compensation for certain work that is out of the ordinary…
The day-to-day chores in our house are expected, but say we ask our eldest to do some extra yard work, or work a few hours in our shop, we’ll pay her an hourly wage for that. It helps teach her the values of part time work, and she knows how much money she will make based on how hard she works and how many hours she works.
There are so many different ways that we as parents can help provide a solid foundation for financial knowledge. TD has also provided a great Digital Activity Book that you can work with your kid online, or print out to work on paper. There are great activities for kids of all ages, and both my kids, aged 4 and 10, enjoyed working through the Digital Activity Book!
How do you teach your kids about money? Do you involve them in day-to-day conversations?
This post is sponsored by TD. All opinions are my own.