Top 4 Money Lessons to Teach Your Kids
The lessons and practices we teach our children regarding family values, morals and yes, money will last them a lifetime, and possibly be passed down through generations. Practicing what we preach through daily actions and talking to our children causes our experiences to become their habits! In our household, my oldest son has nicknamed my little advice sessions as “Life Lessons of the Day”, and we laugh now when we all sit down at the table and have these great discussions! When it comes to finances and everyday money lessons, they need advice from us. They are not being taught about how to balance a checkbook or how different stores have different prices for the same item in school. They are learning by what they see in society if we, as parents, do not teach them.
Here are some of my favorite Money Lessons to Teach Your Kids:
1. Most importantly, teach them the value of a dollar. Start them out with a bank account at an early age and allow them to have their own spending money. Have them use money from their birthday and Christmas gifts, along with money they may have earned on their own doing little chores. Teach them how to save for larger items they want, while still having some of their own money to spend on the small items. I strongly disagree with parents buying games, etc. just because a new item comes out. I feel that should be something the kids should learn to save up for, but yet they should not feel they cannot save and still spend money on daily/weekly items.
2. Teach them the time of year to shop for certain items…and how to take advantage of Back to School Sales, Black Friday, etc. And of course show them how to use store coupons! As they grow, give them a spending total for their Back to School clothes and teach them to make the best choices. For example, this will force them to look for sales and deals on clothes to buy those $150 basketball sneakers they want! It will make them realize the items on the clearance rack are the same quality as the ones at full price! This is when to teach them to search for online coupon codes or help you go grocery shopping. I have had the most success with this method.
3. Teach them to use sales and coupons on daily food and health and beauty purchases. You can ask my boys how I paired them up in the grocery store so we could make three transaction to get the most savings! They will never forget these experiences. They realized quickly after a few trips they were able to get more items they liked if we used coupons and sales! I would show them the savings after we put all the groceries away.
4. The next important step is to bring them to the next level in their teenage years. Teach them about credit cards and how it is not wise to pay interest. Sometimes situations arise and they may need to use a credit card, but teach them it should not be the norm. This is also the time to talk about credit scores, saving for a car, plans for college, earning scholarships, etc. Not every parent can afford to pay for their child’s education. They also have to have some responsibility in the process as it will create more appreciation. My dad did not promise to pay our education unless we graduated with a bachelor’s degree. If we dropped out, we were responsible for the loans.
Looking back and with our kids now being 15, 16, 17 and 18, it’s funny to watch their actions as they grow into young adults when it comes to money and shopping. If they need or want something, whether it be school clothes or an Xbox game, they ask if I know of a sale, have a coupon or figure a way to get the price down by trading in games. Now they search for the sales, coupon codes online or in-store coupons themselves and say how good of a deal it is! It makes me smile with pride to know that some of those “Life Lesson of the Day” discussions really did make a difference!