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Easy as 123: Teaching Your Child About Money

By: iTHINK Financial | Jan 02, 2019

Creative Ways to Teach Your Children About Money

You want to do everything you can to prepare your child for the world. You teach them to look both ways before they cross the street, to wash their hands before they eat and to wait for the cookies to cool down instead of eating them straight from the oven. But despite the universal parental urge to set their children up for success however they know how, many parents struggle with how to teach their kids about financial health.

Different children at different ages need unique money lessons to get the message across that money is just as important as it is manageable. Give these creative teaching methods a try with your child to see what works best for them and puts them on the right path to lifelong financial stability.

Rethink the Piggy Bank

The classic pink piggy bank is an iconic image of childhood parables. Save well, break it open at the right time, and you’ll be happy to have the financial boost you’ve been waiting for and working towards. Crack it open too early, however, and you’ll waste away your progress. As tried-and-true as these lessons seem to be, maybe it’s time to rethink how we teach our children to save their spare change.

For many kids, the opaque piggy bank feels as far away as the top shelf can feel to a three-year-old. They can contribute change here and there, but there’s no way to really monitor how much they’ve saved when they can’t see it. There’s no app to monitor the balance of their animal-shaped savings account. Instead, consider replacing it with a clear jar. That way, they can get a visual of how much they’ve saved and the progression of savings as time goes.

Allowance Received Is Allowance Earned

Growing up, many of us received a weekly allowance. We may have been told that we received it in exchange for the week’s chores, but did we fully make the connection? If we missed a chore, did we see a cut in our weekly pay? Rather than giving your child a set of unchanging allowance, consider giving them a portion of their weekly allowance each time they complete a chore for the week. This solidifies the connection between work, income, and the rewards that come with income.

Additionally, consider employing some extra opportunities to make some bonus cash in the week. Adults have the opportunity to make some extra money through side gigs or staying a few hours late at the office — why shouldn’t your kids have the same chance? If there’s extra work to be done around the house one week, ask your child if they’d like the opportunity to take on a chore they wouldn’t normally do. Just like the real world: if they don’t want to take on an additional position that isn’t in their job description, that’s fine, but if they do, it’ll pay off. 

Lay the Foundation to a Bright Financial Future

Saving money is a habit that’s built over time. Taking small steps to educate your child about building a financial foundation and the importance of saving at a young age will carry with them through adulthood.  But these simple solutions can help make money a little more transparent (literally) for your little ones.

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