3 financial lessons to teach your kids this year

My kids started school in early September, and one of the things I love about our district is that teachers send home a quiz at the start of the year asking what we, as parents, would like to see our children learn.

Now, obviously, the intention here is to be reasonable, so if I wrote, “I wish my six-year-old would learn how to clone a sheep,” I would be mocked or ignored. But one thing that I made suggests teaching personal finance lessons throughout the year (and even volunteering to help in this regard).

However, parents cannot always rely on their children’s schools to teach their children about personal finance. That’s why I make a point of showing my children what money management is. If your goal is to raise financially savvy kids as well, here are three lessons worth teaching.

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1. How to budget

My younger kids don’t quite understand what a budget is, but my fourth grader not only knows what it means to budget, he has actually seen my household budget. At this point, he understands why we can’t afford to spend so much money on hobbies and activities (hello, mortgage payment and sky-high property taxes), and he recognizes the importance of knowing how your money is spent month after month. month.

If you want to teach your kids about budgeting but don’t feel comfortable sharing the details of your actual finances, create a mock budget. This will at least give your kids an idea of ​​what it means to create one and follow one.

2. How to save

My children have access to a small amount of money through stipends and tooth fairy visits. Plus, they all have savings accounts where they keep their money when not in use.

I made it clear to my children that the money is theirs and that they can spend it however they want. All they have to do is ask me or my husband to take money out of their savings (or, what usually happens is we just give them the money and pay it back to them. from their accounts).

But I also explained that if they keep spending their limited money on things like ice cream shop tours, stickers, and Pokemon cards, they won’t have much (or not at all) left for. buy more durable items, such as video games. And that message got through because all of my kids are saving for bigger purchases right now.

Now if I’m being honest these are all things my husband and I would be happy to give them as holiday gifts. But I specifically want my kids to take the steps to reach a savings goal, so we encourage them to keep putting their money aside.

3. How to compare prices

My kids would complain when I didn’t buy their favorite granola bar or brand of cereal, until they realized why I often switch things up. Before the pandemic, I used to take my kids to the store to shop and show them the difference in cost between comparable items and brands. Now they understand that I will buy a different version because it is cheaper.

These days I admittedly try to keep my kids out of the supermarket as much as possible due to health issues. But if we are looking for items online, I will show them the price differences so that they understand the importance of researching purchases before completing them.

Unfortunately, personal finances are not guaranteed in the classroom. It is therefore up to us, as parents, to put our children on the right track. Now that the school year is in full swing, it wouldn’t hurt to spend some time teaching your kids important financial concepts.

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