From a very early age, my parents taught me the value of money. They were able to effectively do this in a positive light, and no, my parents were not rich by any means. They were very good at teaching me to develop good saving habits, instilling in me the value of the dollar, determining “needs” from “wants,” and really allowing me to make my own choices, good or bad. Due to this upbringing, in short, I have been comfortable discussing finances and the importance of budgeting. I discovered later, that it is not like this for everyone. I will be discussing family finances soon, but wanted to first start by what I am now beginning to teach my daughter. She is only 1 ½ years old mind you, says only a few words, but definitely knows the word money, can identify it, and where it goes.
I believe that it is crucial to begin taking the initiative to start teaching kids about finance at an early age. It will allow them to begin understanding the value of money, that it is finite and doesn’t “grow on trees,” and begin to develop positive habits, hopefully leading to financially responsible adults. It can also benefit my wife and I and our habits. At this point though, she really doesn’t know, but beginning with a piggy bank is a good start. You know all that loose change that everyone seems to acquire? That is where we began. Besides saving those random coins from around the house it has also helped develop some of her motor skills by putting the coins into the slot.
What else can you begin doing to teach your kids about money at an early age? Money and coin identification, learning to count, the value of money. And lastly, maybe jumping the gun a little, open up a savings account for them as well. Here are 5 concepts to get you started:
- Purchase a piggy bank and a wallet. Have them go with you to pick out one they like and can get excited to start using and collecting coins and cash.
- Collect some coins or dollar bills to help them identify what money is and where to put it.
- Help them to begin learning to count using the coins.
- Take them grocery shopping and have them help in the process. This is to begin learning the value of money and what it is for.
- Open up a savings account to start the savings process. This is an ideal place to put their money once their piggy bank is full. We anticipate that once it’s full, she will be about 3 years old and more knowledgeable and able to appreciate it.
What creative ideas do you have to begin teaching kids about money? Leave your comments.
Featured Image Photo Credit – Pexels