Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money

Kristina Kraus
Greater Nevada Credit Union
Teaching kids about money can be challenging. You can’t just give them an article out of the Wall Street Journal about finances and expect them to understand it. Kids also have a very short attention span, so when grandpa lectures them on the importance of saving their money, they probably aren’t listening.

All kids know is that they want something and they want it now. So how do you teach them important life lessons and make sure they are paying attention?  Take a look at these simple tips to help your kids learn about money

How to Budget

It is pretty common for parents to give their kids a regular allowance. Rather than giving them a small amount of money frequently, give them more money less often. For example, instead of giving them $5 per week, give them $40 every two months, which forces them to budget their money so that it lasts longer.

Hard Work Pays Off  

It’s okay to give kids extra money when they earn it. Have a standard chore list, and if your child goes above and beyond, giving them extra money teaches them that that hard work does pay off. Either have them do more chores than normal, or assign values to chores based on how hard they are. If you have a chore chart with money values labeled on each task, you can have them pick 5 out of 10 options and they can either choose the easier ones for less money or choose to work a little harder for more money.

Having Nothing

Of course we want to teach our kids not to spend all of their money at once, though sometimes its good for kids to experience what happens when you impulse shop then suddenly have nothing. It can be a valuable lesson on how constantly working and never saving doesn’t set you up for future needs and wants.  

Teaching Patience

Kids love to impulse shop. One way you can help control it is by having your kids write down the things they want most, and have them review it every few weeks. Chances are they’ll change their mind on some if not all of the items. The key is to make them hold off on shopping until they’ve had time to reconsider what they really want to buy.

Every child is different and not all of these tips may apply, though teaching kids about saving and spending money is one of the best ways to prepare them for the future. For more tips, and even some fun, interactive games for your kids, visit Greater Nevada’s Financial Learning Center. You can also visit our Financial Education page for money management resources that can help no matter what your age.
4/14/15