Summertime is perfect for teaching children money management skills. We all know that cash tends to burn holes in little pockets, so let’s consider some strategies for teaching successful money management.
Save, Give, Spend
Savvy Savers: Kids are typically not intrinsic savers. Planning ahead isn’t on the top of their priority lists. However, it is important to teach them delayed gratification and how to save for those rainy days.
There are a few ways you can help them organize and store their money. One option is the jar system. This tool is great for visual learners, and it doesn’t need to be fancy. Label three mason jars with the words: Give, Save, Spend.
A similar idea is the envelope system. Just like the jars, you can help your children decorate the envelopes to denote Give, Save, and Spend.
Generous Givers: Children learn at an early age that it is important to share things. As adults, we know the importance of giving to others, and we’ve experienced the good feeling of knowing you’ve helped someone in need. These concepts can be instilled in children at a young age.
There are a multitude of ways to teach kids how to help others. Using their money to do it is a great place to start, especially during the uncertain times caused by COVID-19. This article from the National Military Family Association offers many ideas to help your kids give back if your family is financially able to do so. Find a cause that matters to your children so it feels good when they give.
Smart Spenders: For kids, spending their hard-earned money is a reward for their hard work! Spending money should be fun, but it’s important to show your kids how to plan their spending wisely. Consider helping them create a basic budget.
Have fun with your kids making a wish list of things they want to do with their money. Write down their wishes and include any obligations (such as paying mom back for that Nerf gun). Money and Stuff offers some great budgeting worksheets along with a wealth of other financial education resources.
Dave Ramsey, a money-management expert and trusted money and business radio personality, also offers an excellent blog on teaching your kids about money.
Keep It Going
Once they begin to see the fruits of their labor, kids get excited about earning money. Help them to keep going! Work together to set attainable goals. Print a chart like this one from My SunnySide Up Life as a visual aid to motivate your children to keep working toward their goals.
Consider offering a savings match. Set a goal and an end date with your kids and offer to match their total savings.
Imagine your kids experiencing life free from debt and financially secure. This lifestyle is attainable, and you can help them get a head start by making small changes in your own money management strategy.
Let your children see you making good choices; you know they are always watching you anyway. You can literally change the course of their future, their children’s future, and generations to come.
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Sara Lutz is a Business Teacher Facilitator at Lincoln Learning Solutions and has been working in online learning for 14 years. Sara enjoys spending her free time cheering on her kids at their various sports events, visiting the beach every summer, and watching movies with her family.