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Raising Money Smart Kids

by Allison Kane

Growing up in a world that is materialistic, has made it difficult to raise money savvy kids.  We are constantly spending money on new houses, cars, toys, clothes, etc. So the underlying question is: How do we teach our children to value money and how to manage it?

One of the easiest ways to teach your child about the value of money is to ask them questions. From their answers you will be able to determine how much they already know about money, and what they still need to know.  Depending on your child's age, these questions should be tailored differently.

Young children

For example you could ask your 3 year old boy/girl these questions:

Where do you think money comes from?

If you wanted a big boy/girl toy, what would you have to do to pay for it? 

These questions are broad and engage your child even at a young age to think about the value of money.  You can also teach a child this age the value of money by showing them how much a dollar is worth.  For example show them a dollar and a penny and express that a dollar is equal to 100 pennies. 

Ages 8-13

As your child gets older, ages 8-13, their responsibilities start to increase, so it's good to ask more questions about savings.  For example:

How would you explain how credit cards work?

How much money would you like to save in your savings account each month?

Ages 14-20

When your child reaches ages 14-20, they are going to become more independent.  At this age it would be appropriate to ask questions that are geared toward your child managing their own money.  Examples of questions could be:

If you were spending your own money on school clothes, where would you cut back?

What do you think the payment on a $60,000 student loan would be?

Once you understand where your child is at in terms of money knowledge, the next step is to teach them how to manage it.  Visit your credit union to open a kid's account to teach your children how to save money or to learn more about money management lessons for your kids.

Published 1-14-2013



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