As a mom of an 11-year-old son, Izaak and an 8-year-old daughter, Amelia, AND a financial advisor, I often think about what financial lessons are important for my children to learn. I have tried to incorporate some of these lessons into our daily lives. I realize that every child and every family have different values, goals, rules, culture……. I just wanted to share what has worked for us, in hopes that it may work for others or inspire an idea that will work well for them.
- Some chores are your responsibility as part of the family. For example, Izaak takes out the trash bags as needed and the cans to the curb every Thursday. Amelia brings in the mail and packs both her and her brother’s snacks for school. Izaak and Amelia also have other chores. These chores are their jobs and they can EARN Money, just like mom and dad earn a paycheck. When they earn money from these jobs, they can SAVE the money in their own bank account or SPEND the money. This is a choice for them to make.
LESSONS LEARNED: We all do things around the house and for other people and do not make money, just for doing them. We also can work hard and earn money and have freedom to make choices with the money we earn.
- When my children have saved money from their jobs or from birthday gifts, I talk to them about what they want to buy and what it costs. As they have gotten older, I have let them “shop” online so that they can see what things cost and that there are trade-offs-if I buy this video game, then I can’t get that slime kit.
LESSONS LEARNED: We may need to save more for what we really want. We can only spend what we have, as we will not use credit. We do not have an unlimited supply of money to spend and get everything we want.
- Make it FUN! I bought each of my children an electronic change counter. It cost less than $10. They can instantly see the money add up and they love it! This is in addition to their savings account. They have gotten change from their grandparents “just because” or from me for good behavior or extra help around the house.
LESSON LEARNED: Every little bit adds up.
- Many schools offer a bank deposit program. If your school does, have your children participate in the process-fill out the deposit slip, review the deposit receipt, keep a check register-all real- world skills that will help them, even in this world of online banking. If the school does not offer it, suggest that they do, or take your children to the local bank after school hours.
LESSONS LEARNED: This process teaches savings, basic math skills and most importantly, life skills
These lessons are a work in progress for me and my family and have evolved over the years.
I would love to know what has worked for you and your family. Please share with me in the comments section