One thing that is super important to me is making sure children understand the importance of being financially responsible. When I helped people with retirement many moons ago, the people that were ill-prepared usually had the same story – either they came across hard times, or they were never taught how to save and invest their money. I feel as a parent, it is essential to equip my kids with the tools to be financially conscientious and one day financially independent.
One website that I absolutely adore is Dave Ramsey’s – www.daveramsey.com. He has 2 articles I enjoy: “9 Ways to Teach Your Kids About Money” and “How to Talk to Your Kids About Money.” I have not only used them for my 9-year-old, but I’ve also used it for my Girl Scouts as well! He gives excellent ways to introduce budgeting, saving, paying down debt and giving! I also love how he has families include kids in making financial decisions and setting financial goals.
One excerpt from “How to Talk to Your Kids About Money” that I always touch on is:
If you regret going into debt or not saving more for college, tell your kids. Parents so rarely have open, honest moments with their children. Kids can handle it—really.
Instead of hiding your financial failures or covering it up when money is tight, tell your kids the truth. If you ran up debts in your past and had difficulty paying them back, share that. They’ll appreciate your openness and learn a valuable lesson about overspending.”
Too often we shield our kids from our mistakes, instead of allowing them to learn from them as we do!
Another impressive site is www.themint.org. In addition to articles that can be read by kids as well as adults, there are games, worksheets, and activities for kids to enjoy while learning about money. One of my favorite concepts is a money diary. Young people are to keep track of the money they earn, spend and save. It allows them to see where their money is going and helps hold themselves accountable.
The parent section in The Mint called “Check Your Habits and Attitudes.” is the section I use most often. It’s important that parents realize that before they can have these open dialogs with their kids about finances, they need to make sure they understand them too. This short quiz assesses the parent’s need for additional knowledge, as well as ensuring they don’t pass down any bad habits and attitudes toward a particular topic to their child.
Lastly, The Mint also has a section called “Ultimate Resources for Teaching Kids About Money,” where they list other websites you can go to for additional info and educational tools. This has been invaluable because you don’t want to duplicate activities to where the kids lose interest in learning. And considering money matters is an ongoing discussion – you can use these tools to keep them actively involved! Here’s the link: https://www.mint.com/ultimate-resources-for-teaching-kids-about-money.
If you have kids that are technology savvy, both sites have apps they can use to keep track of money management, just in case writing it down is too “archaic” for them ;-).
What methods do you use to teach your kids about money?
We’re always looking for new ones!