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Kids and Money Management
Summer has arrived, and kids everywhere are dealing with a sudden spike in free time. As parents, the chances are good that you'll be tapped for a little spending money during the season.
Now, your kids may not be at that age where a part-time summer job is a possibility, but that doesn't mean you can't start teaching money-management skills now.
Here are a few things you can do to teach financial responsibility to the young ones - during the summer and all year long.
There's never really been a consensus among parents on this issue; should kids make an allowance for helping out around the house, or are chores simply part of family life? If you're a believer in the former category, consider this Pinterest find from Uncommon Goods. This easy-to-create whiteboard calendar lays out household expectations and what each task is worth. This could be a great money-saving teaching tool for young children!
Set an Allowance Budget
Whether you reward your child for helping with chores, or just simply give them a regular spending allowance, it's a great idea to set up a budget. Help them realize what kind of "income" they'll be receiving. If they decide to spend all of it in one shot, let them know that they'll have to start all over in working toward a bigger purchase. Learning big-life skills starts early!
Saving is Awesome
Chances are, there's something important to your family that required saving in order to buy. Maybe it's a past vacation, a swimming pool or spa, or something along these lines. Explain to your child where these things come - especially if it's something they're enjoying over the summer vacation months!
Take Your Child to the Credit Union
Here's a great practical way to slip a money management lesson into regular errands. ATMs can be a little confusing; explain to your child where that money comes from and why you're withdrawing that particular amount. Added bonus - give them a certain amount that they can "help you" spend on another errand.
Make a Wish List
There aren't a ton of present-giving holidays during the calendar year, so if your child has a short list of things they really want, have him/her make a list. Find out the cost, and motivate them to save their pennies to put toward that item. One idea we really like; as they make progress toward saving for what they want, offer to match the cost. Hard work deserves a reward!
When all is said and done, lots of young adults still find themselves in financial pickles because we live in an ultra-consumer society.
With younger children, emphasize that things are not the most important part of life. Having the trendiest clothes, toys, etc. is a lot of fun, but in the long run, many of the things we come to value are imposed on us by what we see on television and in magazines. A certain amount of skepticism when it comes to consumer culture can go a long way in helping kids save money!
These are only a few pretty basic ideas for kids and money management. Is there a way you teach your kids about finances? Leave us a comment and share your ideas!