Most parents want their children to learn the value of money from a young age and make wise financial choices as they grow up. But without a definitive handbook, and with few if any resources in schools and communities to help, parents are often on their own to teach their children about money and money management.
In addition to feeling unsure about what to teach their children about money, and how to teach them, parents might not feel confident teaching their children about finances if they’re not confident about the topic themselves.
Regardless of how confident, or uncomfortable, you feel about modeling good financial habits and teaching your kids or young people in your life about money, the reality is that children learn from adults around them. They’re going to learn financial habits from watching you. Research suggests that providing even small amounts of financial education can help. Small choices and steps you take now can help them gain the knowledge and skills they need to be financially strong their whole lives.
While there are no hard and fast rules about teaching children about money, the younger children are when they begin to learn the value of money, the more likely they will feel confident to make wise financial choices later in life. Boys and girls equally need to learn the important building blocks of managing money – how to earn money, how to save it, spend it, invest it, budget it and make choices that benefit themselves and, eventually, their own families.
Following are some tips to get you started in teaching your children – whether they are preschoolers or getting ready to graduate college and/or enter the workforce – about how to make good money choices for life.
Remember that this is a long process – actually a lifelong journey. Children will learn lessons slowly, over time and with continual, positive reinforcement through daily conversations and actions.