Giving your children a sound financial education should be an integral part of your parenting, and it all goes toward creating a financial-life balance. We’ve compiled a list of steps you can take to achieve your goal! Continue reading to get started.
Introduce the concept of money. It’s important to teach your children the importance and value of money. Explain to them that money does not just come from mom and dad’s wallet, rather, it is earned through work. It’s also necessary to demonstrate the money “basics”, which are:
- Identifying money
- Making change
- Needs vs. wants
Say no. Regardless of your financial status, it is crucial for you to refuse your children’s requests from time to time. Everyone needs to learn how to accept a “no”, and every time you give in to a child’s demand, you are raising his or her standard of living a bit more.
For example, if your child asks for a $200 designer jacket when you know he/she has a perfectly wearable one from last spring. If you give in to the begging, you may be affecting their future choices in two ways:
- By giving in easily, you have just diminished the value of $200 in their eyes.
- You are raising their standards to a level that may not be sustainable.
This does not mean you can never give a child something “just because.” Experts recommend the sporadic “no” so your children learn to accept that they can’t always have everything they want.
Encourage work. Children who hold down a job when they are still young are getting a head start on life as an adult. Encourage your child to look for a summer job, shovel snow for your neighbors in the winter and rake their leaves in the fall, and accept the occasional babysitting job. They will learn responsibility and develop a work ethic. Best of all, they will start valuing their money more when they see how hard it can be to earn a single dollar.
Lead by example. Explain what you are doing when you write and deposit a check, use an ATM, or pay for groceries. Children are very observant, and learn many of their money concepts by watching you and copying your behavior.
To help kick start your child’s financial future, consider opening a Moola Moola Youth Account at your local SeaComm branch! Your child will have online access to their accounts through NetTeller™, receive quarterly statements, and earn dividends on their money. Click here to learn more, or stop by your nearest SeaComm location.