What do you wish you would’ve known about money growing up? Kids are constantly bombarded with powerful media messages and peer pressure to have the latest, biggest, best and most.
April is Financial Literacy Month and here at Lutheran Social Services Consumer Credit Counseling Service, we believe it’s never too early to begin learning about the concepts of earning, spending, saving, and sharing!
Consider these 10 tips to help raise money smart kids:
- Examine your own attitudes and money practices. Children learn by imitation.
- Involve your child in family financial planning. Talk about needs and wants and how to plan for both. Set family goals and measure your progress with everyone’s involvement.
- Consider an allowance, offer guidance and allow experimentation on a small-scale. Be careful not to dictate and kindly let your child suffer consequences of their spending decisions.
- Expect your child to contribute to family chores without compensation. Learning to share family work is as important as sharing family money.
- Provide extra income opportunities to solidify the connection between work and rewards.
- Teach your child to save regularly. Open a savings account in the child’s name and work together to deposit money, even small amounts, regularly. Show your children that saving is the way to achieve goals as well as satisfy needs and wants.
- Help you child discover the satisfaction of sharing. Designate a set amount to be shared with others. Allow your children to experience the benefits first hand.
- Show your child how to be a wise consumer—teach the importance of lists and comparison shopping. Limit purchases to one or two items on the child’s list before you go. This helps prevent tantrums and impulse buying.
- Teach your child a healthy attitude toward credit. The use of credit should be part of the overall spending plan, not an open invitation to spend impulsively. Allow your child to watch you pay the bills for any credit you use.
- As your children mature, teach the value of wise investments. Illustrate the benefits of long-term savings or investment accounts, for those who begin early.