As parents we are always looking out for our kids best interests. We want to teach them the difference between right and wrong, or the proper way to treat people. Sometimes though we forget about one major lesson, which is money.
Often times parents don’t associate kids and money in the same thought. Unfortunately, that is the complete opposite way that it should be. Kids are very impressionable. How many times have you said something and found that they started repeating you? The same thing goes for your actions.
If your kids see you whipping out your piece of plastic to make all your purchases you need to explain it to them. Teach them what a credit card is and how it should be used. My wife and I use our credit card for everything. The reason for that is not because we need to, but because we use them to attain airlines miles. We use those miles towards free travel.
As parents we need to understand that there is a need for financial literacy education when it comes to our kids. The ugly truth is that they are not going to learn most of this in school because our education system lacks a desire to teach personal finance. That means it’s our responsibility.
When I talk to different readers who have struggled in the past or currently struggle with debt, the common denominator between all of them is that no one ever taught them how to properly save and spend their money.
How to teach your kids about money
Let’s face it money can be pretty boring unless we are spending it. We need to make it fun for our kids and that is made much more simple with all of the online games that are available.
The Great Piggy Bank Adventure
T. Rowe Price and Disney have partnered to create an interactive game called The Great Piggy Bank Adventure. It will teach kids the importance of wise financial decisions through the use of a talking piggy bank.
Monopoly, one of the most popular games of our generation, is also one of the best learning tools when it comes to money. It allows kids to have fun because they are competing in a game, but it also gives parents the opportunity to use it as a financial learning tool.
Money Savvy Pig
Most traditional piggy banks come with one slot. In reality, this doesn’t do much good when you are trying to teach your kids about money. Instead you could use a Money Savvy Pig which includes four separate sections; save, spend, donate and invest. This will allow you to teach your kids about goals and have them save for each thing.
Last, but certainly not least, is to be honest with your kids. If you are having a problem with your finances make sure you include them in the conversation to a certain extent. There is really no better way to learn than by experience. If your kids see you overcome adversity, that is going to go a long way, compared to keeping them sheltered from the less than pleasant truth.
Money can be a sticky situation with a lot of families, but it shouldn’t be. Teaching our kids the importance of sound financial choices from an early age is one of the most important things that we can do as parents. Embrace the opportunity and have a conversation about money with your child tonight.
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