As parents, we want the best for our children. We want them to grow up to be healthy, responsible, and successful adults. We want them to be well-equipped and prepared to handle life's challenges that will come their way. As we all know, money plays a significant role in our lives. It impacts many of the decisions we make such as what we purchase or don’t purchase, where we live, what we drive, and how we give to others.
Teaching kids about financial wellbeing is an integral part of parenting. The earlier they learn and implement good money habits, the better prepared they are to lead healthy financial lives in adulthood. It can be a challenge to teach kids about money. However, teaching good money habits doesn't have to be complicated. It can be creative, adventurous, and fun.
Here are a few fun ways to get your kid excited about saving money.
Do you remember how you saved money when you were a kid? Most likely, you kept your money in a piggy bank or a clear jar. Well, guess what? This method is still effective today. It's an easy way to build excitement about saving, and it gives a visual as your child watch their money grow and pile up.
Does your kid have a spirit of entrepreneurship? If so, help them to start a kid-friendly business. A good option to consider is a lemonade stand. A lemonade stand is a fun, kid-friendly activity that teaches your kid the basics of handling money and the importance of planning, preparation, and teamwork. They'll get first-hand experience in running a business and may even make a little money. Let’s be honest, who could pass by a lemonade stand worked by cute, adorable faces and not stop to purchase a cup of fresh lemonade?
Another creative, fun business idea to help teach kids about money is to set up a concession stand for family movie night. You and your child could create a menu of the family's favorite snacks and sell them for a reasonable price.
Making a chore list is a win-win for both you and your child. For parents, it eases the household workload and frees up time to do other things. For the child, assigning chores at an early age and rewarding them for completed tasks teaches them the value of earning money and life lessons such as responsibility, a sense of accomplishment, and good work ethic.
Who doesn't like a friendly competition to motivate us to work towards the winning prize? Hosting a family saving contest to see who can save the most by a certain deadline is a good way to encourage kids to save money. Identify ways that your child could earn money for every task completed, such as completing a chore, displaying good behavior, or making good grades in school. You can decide with your child the winning prize. It could be additional money, an item they've been begging you for, or a trip to their favorite store.
One fun way to teach younger kids about money is to make a pretend store. With a toy cash register and play money, they can learn the basics of pricing and add up the items' costs.
Plan a trip to the bank with your child to open a savings account. Most financial institutions offer youth savings account to encourage early saving. You could plan regular visits to the bank with your child to take deposits. Your child will see how banking works and how their balance grows. It's also an opportunity to teach them the benefits of compound interest.
Kids mirror what you do. Let them see you giving to those in need and explain why it's essential to help others. Another way to teach giving back to your kids is to let them donate their old toys and clothes instead of throwing them away. You can plan a family trip to a donation site or go shopping together to purchase food for a local food bank.
What are your child's interests? You could match their interest with a cause. For example, if your kid loves cats or dogs, they can buy food and supplies for a local animal shelter.
Kids are more tech-savvy than ever before. If tracking chores on a poster board with stars and smiley face stickers seem outdated, consider going digital. There are chore and allowance apps available for kids who prefer to see their rewards on their electronic device and money games to learn the basics concepts of money.
Don't forget about the traditional board games such as Monopoly or Life that teaches them about money and life skills such as saving for retirement and purchasing real estate. Playing board games also allows bonding time for you and your family.
Is there something your child has been begging you for lately? Maybe a trip to Disney World or an amusement park? Setting a family savings goal is an excellent opportunity to get your children involved in saving for something they really want. This involves the parent and child depositing loose change and a certain amount from windfalls and allowances into the "Family Fun" jar. Setting a family savings goal not only teaches your child about saving, but it also teaches them the value of working together as a team.
It's never too early or too late to teach kids about saving. The task doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might imagine. With creativity, time, effort, and consistency, you can make it fun and adventurous for your children to learn about money. By taking on this responsibility, you'll help your child develop good money habits and learn other valuable life lessons that will benefit them tremendously throughout the rest of their lives.