Welcome to Raising Money$mart Kids!

What do YOUR kids know about the value of a buck? If you're like most families, finances aren't often discussed. Some parents feel that talking about money makes their kids feel like they're poor. Others may not know where or when to start to help their kids learn about budgeting or business or banking.

Here at Raising Money$mart Kids, you will find articles on everything from setting up an allowance to running a lemonade stand to helping kids make better purchase decisions. You can ask questions get help from the community.

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

A is for Age-Appropriate Financial Teaching

In the month of April, I will be bringing blog posts to you that start with each letter of the alphabet. Today's post about raising money-smart kids is about how to make kids understand money in an age-appropriate way.

Teaching kids how money works is not a one-time lesson. It is something that happens over their entire childhood in many different ways. It doesn't have to be sitting kids down at a table and reading from a textbook to them. Kids pick up clues about handling money every time they accompany you to the bank, every time they see something on television that relates to money, and every time their friends talk about it on the playground. Some of what they pick up on their own is useful but the vast majority of it will not be unless you can frame it in a way they can understand for their age.

Young children cannot understand the complexities of the financial markets in the same way that older children can. Children under ten often learn about money best by seeing it and touching it. Physical coins and bills are important to understanding the value of money. A bank account balance and a little passbook don't get the same message across. As children get older, they can understand financial transactions in a wider perspective. When they see you deposit money in your bank account, they can understand where it goes. They can learn how to budget for every day expenditures and large purchases and how to save for a rainy day.

Keep the age of your children in mind while you are helping them learn fiscal responsibility. They don't have to know it all at once. Just give them regular opportunities to see it in action and be able to explain it in a way they can relate to.

1 comment:

Marie Anne said...

Excellent advice. Neither of my sons is very responsible about money, but they had the influence of their dad while in their teens.