It's Life It's Parenting tip tuesday

8 Tips for Helping Kids Learn About Money

March 7, 2017

Let’s face it, many of us adults these days are terrible with our money. Our bad habits get passed on to our kids and then they’re doomed to repeat the same choices we did with our money. As parents, we usually want something better than we had for our children. When it comes to handling money, if it’s done poorly, it can truly make life hard. So, if you’re good with money or you aren’t, here are a few tips to help further your money teaching game.

Make them Budget Their Allowance – This might sound like torture to your child but it truly will make them think twice as they get older, about what they spend their money on. Don’t let them just blow their allowance on the first thing they see. Make them plan it out—some into savings, some for spending, etc. They will really be glad you did even if it takes a while for them to see its importance.

Think About No Allowance at All – This might sound horrible as well but growing up, I started out getting an allowance. However, I truly learned a deeper level of respect when my parents sat us down and explained to us how taking care of the house and doing the chores was a family thing. These were things we should be doing no matter what. They said they didn’t get paid to do the daily chores and from then on, we weren’t either. It was hard to grasp at first but it was a lesson that stuck with me and truly made me cherish the hard work it takes for an adult to thrive on a daily basis. Taking care of my house wasn’t optional, it was necessary. It sure did make me cherish that little bit of money I did earn because outside of allowance, I had no income so it was much harder work to earn spending money. It was worth the money lesson I learned from it.

Get Them a Savings Account – When I got to the point where I was counting every penny I earned multiple times a day, my mother took me to get a kid’s savings account. It allowed me to understand that it truly pays to put the money out of sight and out of mind. They never added a penny to that account, it was all ours that we chose to put in there. My parents never forced us to save but always told us we would be sorry if we didn’t. They sure as heck were right. I’m a total saver now.

Make Them Take Care of the Paperwork for the Account – My mother sat down and taught us how to use a checkbook. This included keeping track of how much we had deposited and how much had been withdrawn so we knew our total at all times. She left it up to us after she taught us, on keeping track of the amounts. If we withdrew money for a purchase, we were the one responsible for knowing if we had enough. Luckily none of us overdrew our accounts but it sure felt like pins and needles some days.

Make a Game Out of It – I remember some mornings when my mother would sit us all down with a pile of coins. She would ask us various questions about how we could make certain amounts using the coins we had. She got tricky on us sometimes but it was a twofold game of learning math and money skills. There are plenty of ways to learn about money through games and it makes it feel a little less burdensome on children to do it that way.

Make Them Have a Reason for Buying – More times than not, when my mother was teaching me about money, she would make me give a legitimate reason for why I was spending my money. “Why do you feel that you need to spend half of your savings on those chips and that candy?” If I didn’t have a solid reason for spending such an amount, I had to put it back. I was often thankful later on that she had stopped me because I would find something cooler and more useful.

Get Them Involved in Bills – Kids often don’t realize all the bills that have to be paid on a monthly basis. My mom didn’t usually involve us in those matters but a time or two she would take us with her to go pay all the bills and it took all day, it felt like. She would have us try and guess how much the bills were and then once we figured it out, she would tell us all the other things we could buy with that money. It truly boggled our minds that they had that much money in the first place. We used to think we were rich but in all actuality, we were very poor.

Don’t Just Hand Them Money All the Time – The worst thing you can do for a child is just hand them money whenever they want it. I had a few friends growing up who could just walk up to their dad and ask for a twenty and get it without hesitation. When their parents booted them out at 18, reality hit them hard. I never walked up to my parents and asked for money. When they offered, I would never say no, that’s for sure, but I would never ask. I, more times than not, had to earn my money by doing one of their chores or something similar in return. We both had to get something out of the deal because they said, that’s how life works. Boy, were they right.

  • Reply
    Alli Smith
    March 8, 2017 at 11:41 am

    I taught a Personal Finance course for high school students for several years. They knew very little about handling money. These are all excellent ideas to teach kids about money at an early age so that when they get to high school, they already have a firm foundation.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2017 at 12:23 pm

    We never gave an allowance to our children. They were taught we all worked together around the home and yard. When they got older and babysat or started doing yard work for others they were paid. Ten perfect was tithed, 10 percent went to savings and rest was theirs. All three of our children are financially well off.

  • Reply
    robin Rue
    March 8, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    These are awesome tips. My kids don’t get allowance, but I was thinking about letting my oldest start paying for me at the grocery store (with my debit card) so he can get a feel for it.

  • Reply
    Risky Ladies
    March 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    My kids need to spend their own money when they want little things at the store or save up if they want something bigger. My youngest will spend her money willy-nilly and complain when she has none left. She still hasn’t gotten it yet.

  • Reply
    Ady @VGB
    March 8, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Teaching children about money is so important! I was always taught by my mom to be smart with my money, because it can catch up to you real quick if something goes wrong! They should teach some type of financial class in high school!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    I have been teaching my kids about money for years. They each have a saving account and they get an allowance. We always talk about how much things cost so they get used to it.

  • Reply
    March 8, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Teaching kids about money is really important. It’s a skill that everyone will need during their life.

  • Reply
    Annemarie LeBlanc
    March 8, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    When my kids were young, they got an allowance. Not much, just enough to last them a week. No extras though. If they splurge it all on a Monday, they’re not getting anymore. I got them piggy banks, opened a saving account for them and made them aware of the cost of utilities. I will share this link with my daughter. It is now her turn to train her child about money matters.

  • Reply
    David Elliott
    March 9, 2017 at 12:56 am

    These look like great tips for teaching your children how to manager their money. It’s definitely something I need to think about for my daughter as she is getting older.

  • Reply
    Katie Kinsley
    March 9, 2017 at 1:10 am

    All the articles that are around for children and money tips are amazing. I wish my parents helped me learn the basics about money!

  • Reply
    Jacqui S
    March 9, 2017 at 1:37 am

    When he wants to be, my son is amazing at saving money. But, now that he is a teen? That goes out the window lol.

  • Reply
    Christy Maurer
    March 9, 2017 at 4:27 am

    It is definitely hard to teach “spenders” to save when they are kids! My son never could handle having money without spending it, but he is much better now. My daughter is great about savings!

  • Reply
    valmg @ Mom Knows It All
    March 9, 2017 at 6:19 am

    There are ways to learn about money that don’t even require money. Unit pricing is a great example of what I mean, and something every child should learn.

  • Reply
    Terri Beavers
    March 9, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I’ve been trying to teach the grand kids about money. They want to spend spend spend and I want them to save save save, lol. Great information and tips.

  • Reply
    Jenn @ EngineerMommy
    March 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm

    It’s so important to teach kids about proper money management. Kids need to learn how to best save and spend their money. These are fabulous tips.

  • Reply
    Shannon Graham
    March 9, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    I never got an allowance! I’m very smart with my money because I know, from an early age, how precious it can be.

  • Reply
    Bonnie @wemake7
    March 10, 2017 at 1:55 am

    These are really great tips. I love the savings account idea.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2017 at 6:46 am

    Great suggestions.. I bought them a piggy bank and also opened saving accounts. Pretty useful!

  • Reply
    March 11, 2017 at 11:39 am

    Great suggestions. My son has two piggy banks and soon I’m going to empty them and help him start an actual savings account. It’s time for him to start learning!

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