Preparing Children For a Better Financial Future

kids-moneyEvery day, children are faced with all kinds of new learning experiences. One of the most important parts of their lives as adults will be personal finance, yet it is not adequately talked about or taught before their graduation from high school. Whether you are interested in developing a lesson plan about smart financial decisions in your classroom, or wanting ideas for talking to your own kids about this issue, below are some great ways you can teach children about saving money and money management.

Banking Lessons

From birth, open a savings account for your child. Begin a lesson plan for teaching your child about money matters. During their teens, open a checking account for them, but do not give them sole reign on the account. Begin by teaching them the basics of depositing and withdrawing money by using deposit slips and checks. Teach them how to keep the account reconciled; reminding them that their online balance may not be what their balance really is. Get them a debit card, but be careful about teaching them how to use it and how to record their spending. ATM transactions are costly if they are not tracked the right way.

Discuss Money Matters

Years ago it was a no-no to talk about money with kids. Today, it is very important to discuss the basics of money matters. Talk about savings, banking and how to budget their money. Show them some of your bank statements that have fees on them, and discuss how you plan to eliminate those fees eventually. Children enjoy engaging in these types of conversations.

Budget Basics

Teach your children how to budget money as they grow up. Help them keep track of their spending and their allowance earnings. Teach them by showing them how you spend your money and where your paycheck goes.

Needs and Wants

Kids tend to think that what they want is always a need.  Help your kids identify the important things such as clothing, shelter and food. Although they might be able to buy something they want but they do not necessarily need, help them understand that it has to be included in the budget in order to buy it.

Credit Card Lessons

Teach your children about credit cards and how they need to be used with great care. Help them see that buying something now, maybe something they do not really need, on credit could end up in them having too much debt in the future. Use a credit card statement you receive as a tool so show them how interest has to be paid on purchases. Show them that only about 15% of the monthly payment gets applied to the balance and the other 85% is going to the interest. Show them how a $3000 balance can end up taking them almost 40 years to pay off if they only make the minimum payment.

Allowance

Notice how quickly children spend our money? Give them the responsibility to pay their way and see how fast their spending goes down. Let them earn an allowance, and let them use that allowance to pay a bill or for their lunch money. Help them set up a budget. When the money comes from their wallet, you will be surprised to see how their spending habits change.

Everyone wants the best for their kids. Ensuring that they are financially prepared for life is one of the roles of a parent and often of a teacher. Spend time with your children teaching them one of life’s big lessons.

About the Author

Leslie Quinn is a mother of 3 teenagers and a part-time financial consultant.  When she’s not busy advising her clients and children on the best use of their finances, she offers her advice online to various blogs and resources like MBA in Finance Degree Guide.