The 5 Most Important Money Lessons To Teach Your Kids
It’s surprising that our schools don’t teach children about money.
As a parent, however, you can teach your child important financial lessons — and you should. Check the article we found!
Kobliner says children as young as three years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending. And a report by researchers at the University of Cambridge commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Money Advice Service revealed that kids’ money habits are formed by age 7.
“The sooner parents start taking advantage of everyday teachable money moments (for example, give a six-year-old $2 and let her choose which fruit to buy), the better off our kids will be. Parents are the number one influence on their children’s financial behaviors, so it’s up to us to raise a generation of mindful consumers, investors, savers, and givers,” she says.
Below are the top money lessons to be learned at each age, as well as activities to illustrate each point.
The Lesson: You may have to wait to buy something you want.
“This is a hard concept for people to learn of all ages,” says Kobliner. However, the ability to delay gratification can also predict how successful one will be as a grown-up. Kids at this age need to learn that if they really want something, they should wait and save to buy it.
Money lessons at this age set the tone for later on. “You really can’t start too early,” says Kobliner. Speaking of her own family, she says, “When we go into a store, if I say, ‘We don’t have money for this,’ they’re smart — they know we have credit cards,” So, she would say, “We’re here to buy a gift for X, and we’re not going to buy anything for you, because we’re not here for that.” Kids then quickly learn that going into a store doesn’t always mean you’ll buy something.
Activities For Ages 3 To 5
The Lesson: You need to make choices about how to spend money.
At this age, it’s important to explain to your child, “Money is finite and it’s important to make wise choices, because once you spend the money you have, you don’t have more to spend,” Kobliner says. While at this age, you should also keep up with activities like the saving, spending and sharing jars, and goal-setting, you should also begin to engage your child in more adult financial decision-making.
Activities For Ages 6 To 10
The Lesson: The sooner you save, the faster your money can grow from compound interest.
At this age, you can shift from the idea of saving for short-term goals to long-term goals. Introduce the concept of compound interest, when you earn interest both on your savings as well as on past interest from your savings.
Activities For Ages 11 To 13
The Lesson: When comparing colleges, be sure to consider how much each school would cost.
Search for the “net price calculator” on college websites to see how much each costs when including other expenses besides tuition. But don’t let the price tag discourage your child. Explain how much more college grads earn than people without college degrees, making it a worthwhile investment.
Activities For Ages 14 To 18
The Lesson: You should use a credit card only if you can pay the balance off in full each month.
It is all too easy to slide into credit card debt, which could give your child the burden of paying off credit card debt at the same time as student loans. Plus, it could affect his or her credit history, which could make it difficult to, say, buy a car or a home, or even to get a job. Sometimes, prospective employers check credit.
“The average household owes $7,084 in credit card debt. To reverse the trend of spending beyond our means and racking up hundreds of dollars a year in interest, it’s critical that parents teach their kids how to use credit cards responsibly (or better yet—not at all!—unless they can pay the total bill every month),” says Kobliner.
Activities For Ages 18+