How to Teach Children About Money

As many of my loyal readers will know by now, we often say it how it is. This is why we were honest when we said it is cheaper NOT to have children. We understand that not everyone can control themselves nor would they care. There are lots of people with too much money on their hands, so why not have kids to keep the family name going.

Parenting, from what I am told and have seen, is quite the challenge. It’s hard to know what to do and when to do it. When it comes to teaching money management, it seems to get only more complicated. How are you going to teach this child to avoid debt, only spend what you need, be responsible, etc. This seems to be all of life’s principles. It’s understatement to say that parents have their hands full.

An article on Wall Street Journal joined me in asserting the fear that parents hold when trying to teach their children about money. Yet, the article doesn’t just state that it is hard – it gives practical advice. Much of which has inspired me to share my own tips for parents to teach their children about money.

How to Teach Money Principles to Children

There are many different approaches to teaching children about money, but here are some of my suggestions:

Make Money a Part of Their lives

There is no better way, I am convinced, to teach kids the principles of managing money than to get them engaged in it. By integrating money into their everyday lives like you would with allowances or monetary rewards for chores, you help them understand how transactions or trades work. It helps their brains process how to get money in the future and will enable them to catch on fast when the time comes.

Share Your Story

I am convinced that parents don’t talk to their children enough – and they especially don’t share their honest stories as frequently as they should. Too many parents feel like they have to be perfect in the eyes of their children, when in reality, it’s best to be yourself. If you made mistakes with money going into college, tell your teenage child about it. Let it be a learning experience for them so they don’t have to go through the same thing.

Don’t Do it For Them

The last one, inspired by the WSJ article, is not to take control of all of their decisions. While you can share your story and advise them, it’s important to let them make their own choices and especially, mistakes. They will learn more from their mistakes if they experience them for real. As much as you might like to protect them, hold yourself back.

Teaching your children about money is always a challenge. It is difficult to say that there is always a right or wrong, but the truth is that you need to teach your children about money. Assuming that they will pick it up on their own may work for some, but for others it will cost them big time. They may jump into consumer debt or buy a house before they are ready.

2 Responses to How to Teach Children About Money

  1. I agree with a lot of your points here. It’s unfortunate that many parents consider finances a taboo subject even around their own children. I have a very young daughter, and plan to have her be a part of her finances when she is old enough to understand. I think letting a child “earn” money through allowance, and saving to buy some of their own toys is a great lesson to start.

    The world would be a better place is both parents, AND schools did a better job teaching kids about money.

    Great article. Keep them coming!

  2. Teaching children about money is such and important responsibility of being a Parent. Something that I have found that puts the value of money into perspective is explaining to my daughter the value of store bought items in terms of the number of hours required to buy something. In other words a nice meal out at a restaurant would take about 20 hours working at minimum wage to pay for. To see the expression on my daughters face is priceless!

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