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Start Good Financial Habits: Teaching Kids About Money

financial habits kidsChildren can benefit greatly from learning basic financial skills and lessons at a young age. Understanding finances, differentiating between needs from wants, and learning the importance of budgeting are some key fundamentals that can be instilled early on in your child’s life. Start them off on the right foot with these financial habits and lessons at home.

Tips to Build Good Financial Habits in Children

  • Help them practice the habit of saving. You can do it at home simply by getting a piggy bank or setting up a bank account for saving from their allowance.
  • Help them realize that money does not come easy. Make them work for their money. Give them a chore chart and an allowance for successfully completing their extra jobs. However, you should also encourage them to do things around the house without getting paid.
  • Help the kids make smarter spending choices. When they want the gaming console, the new pair of sneakers, and the movie outing with friends all at once, you can intervene and help them make lists and prioritize needs and wants. Estimate costs to make them realize the money’s value. As a result, they can start making better choices.
  • Set good examples at home. It’s no surprise that kids learn by watching their parents. Therefore, your money habits may very well be adopted by them too. Make sure your spending and saving patterns set a good example to ensure a secure financial future for your child. You can explain your choices to them.

Tips to Build Good Financial Habits in Teenagers

As kids reach their teenage years, the idea of personal financial management becomes an even more important issue. This is  the age when kids prioritize their need to keep up with the latest fashion trendsor save up for a car instead of saving for the future. Therefore, teaching your teenagers to be financially responsible is as important as the smaller lessons taught at a younger age.

  • Make them set specific financial goals. Help them set financial goals that are specific and realistic. Ensure that they are not vague, so they understand the importance of planning for the money they have.
  • Help them start the savings habit. At a time where college is more expensive and careers are taking longer to build, helping your teens learn the importance of saving is vital. Saving for the future can be an abstract concept for teens. Parents must involve them in the conversation about saving as early as they can. Encouraging them to save a portion of their allowance for a bigger cause can be a good start.
  • Encourage them to make some money for themselves. This is a good way to help them understand that money does not come easy and may make them think twice before spending their hard earned dollars on the newest pair of sneakers. You can let them earn money by helping around the home with activities such as babysitting a sibling or yard work. They may also be able to find a part-time job. This process can help them get comfortable with making and managing their cash.
  • Familiarize them with the concept of credit. Help them understand that credit is not free money. 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.

Teaching kids to be responsible about money from a young age lays a strong foundation for a secure financial future. Make use of every opportunity you have to instill in them the habits of responsible saving and money management. Finally, you can find more resources on Kids & Money here.

ABOUT AUTHOR / Dilini

Dilini is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. To anyone, managing finances can be a real challenge! Any tips and tricks to help get through this are great! Dilini will share her experiences, tips, and tricks along the way through the Talking Cents blog. Stay tuned!

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