Building good habits early on can help children better manage their financial futures. Money management principles such as credit, savings, and the value of the dollar take precedence over others when it comes to money management skills for children. A financial future with minimal consumer debt is a great gift you can bestow upon your children.
Money Management Skills For Children
Although it can be awkward at times, talking to your kids about money at a young age is extremely important. The most vital lessons for children to learn is the value of the dollar and the importance of budgeting and saving. These basic money management skills for children can help them achieve a successful financial life.
The best approach when it comes to money management skills for children is going based on their age. Here are some guidelines from ACCC.
AGE GROUP: K-2
What to teach: When kids see money come out of the ATM or see their parents swipe their credit card, they may not realize where the money comes from or that it is a finite resource. It’s important to teach them that money has to be earned by working.
How: Help them set up a bank account for saving, and make them work for their money. Give them a chore chart and an allowance for successfully completing their jobs. However, it’s important to delineate between their obligations as a member of the household, and chores that will help them earn allowances. It’s okay to expect your child to clean up after himself or herself, and to contribute to the household responsibilities without “pay.”
AGE GROUP: GRADES 3-6
What to teach: Everyone has a limited amount of money they can use to buy things they need or want. This is why it’s important to make smart choices about how to spend money. Saving is one of the best things you can do with your money.
How: Have your kids make a list of five things they need and then have them rank them in order of importance. Then have them do the same for things they want. Next, assess their lists and put in an estimated cost for each item. This will open their eyes and help them make smarter choices when spending their own money earned or received. Stress the importance of setting a goal with savings, like saving for a new doll, DVD, or video game.
AGE GROUP: GRADES 7-12
What to teach: Understanding credit cards and how they work can be confusing. It’s important that kids understand that credit is not free money. Continue focusing on saving for the future, especially before college.
How: For kids under 18, have them practice using credit by borrowing money from parents. Set up a credit limit, repayment terms, and a standard interest rate to familiarize them with these concepts. If they miss a payment, don’t hesitate to charge a small late fee. This will help teach them the cost of credit and the habit of paying on time. It will also help them learn the basics of credit before mistakes can harm their credit score.
If you struggle to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Call 800-769-3571 today to speak to a certified credit counselor.