By Melanie Hasty-Grant
How Do You Teach Kids About Money?
As a business owner and a parent, I can’t tell you enough how important it is to teach your children about money. Schools are burdened with far too many requirements these days. However, personal finance is a topic that is often overlooked in the curriculum. Children are capable of learning money skills from a very early age. The following are some guidelines of skills you can teach them at different stages.
Five and Under
Begin by letting your little ones help out with simple chores around the house. They can help pick up toys, carry their plate to the sink,
help take care of family pets, and help set the table. Children intrinsically love to “help” at this age, which is a blessing. However, you might consider letting them earn a few cents for doing “extra chores” in order to send the message that work=earning money. I remember that my five year old loved to organize my Tupperware cabinet for “extra money”. Not only did this help develop his problem solving skills but also gave him a sense of how valuable it was to earn money. Children at the later part of this stage are also capable of learning to count and recognize different denominations of coins and dollar bills.
Six to Ten
This is a great stage to continue building the “learn to earn” muscle. Allow your kids lots of opportunities to make extra money by doing extra chores. We always had “family chores” that everyone had to do just because that’s part of being a family and “extra chores” that they could choose to make money to buy things that they wanted. In addition, it’s a great time to teach a child the difference between “a want” and “a need”. Needs are the very basics. Food to eat, clothes to wear, and a roof over their head are needs. The newest Nike shoes and Apple iphone 6 are wants. Help them learn to differentiate between the two. (As a side note….this is a lesson I’ve noticed a lot of adults have difficulty with, as well)
Eleven to Seventeen
By this developmental stage, there are multiple skills to be mastered. Teach your child how to write a check, how to balance a check ledger, how to create a budget, and how to prioritize wants and needs. Require them to assist you in paying bills and entering your expenses in Quickbooks. Be a good role model. Help them to look for ways to earn money outside of the household (weeding neighbors flower beds, mowing lawns, walking dogs, working at McDonalds or Snow cone huts, babysitting). Encourage saving/investing 30% of everything they make. Visit your local bank and open a savings account with them. If you have a financial advisor, encourage them to attend your appointment with you to learn about investing. Allow them to spend money on items they “want” so they understand how it feels to be able to purchase something with money they have earned. Lastly, help them to value helping others and giving 10% of what they earn.
You must be an active participant in teaching your children about money. Teaching them to be responsible in their earning, spending, and saving will help them become successful adults.
For more information about teaching your kids about money visit www.waterstonewealth.com or call 918-272-1120. Melanie Hasty-Grant, Experienced Licensed Professional Counselor and Managing Principal at Waterstone Private Wealth Management.
Securities offered through Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investement advisory services offered through CWM, LLC, and SEC Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera Advisor Networks LLC is under separate ownership from any other named entity.