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The thought of you just raising a child is scary. But to think they will grow up and become a reflection of you is even scarier.
I look at my oldest daughter and just think “If that isn’t me.” Not the little girl me but the adult me, attitudes, mannerisms, EVERYTHING.
There will be some things that she will learn from me that I won’t be too proud of, like always having to have the last word.
Then there will be some things that she will learn from me that will make me very proud, like her ability to make wise financial decisions.
Raising your kids to be smart with money can be tricky. Especially if you are unable to find ways to engage them properly. It will most likely come off as boring.
That’s not what we want. We want to leave an impression on our children so the lessons we teach will stick with him.
So I’m going to share some fun ways to teach your kids how to be money smart.
But first, If you haven’t read Raising Money Smart Kids: Part 1, go check that out before you get started.
Make Your Child Apart of the Conversation
Kids love being apart of grown folks conversations, so make them feel apart.
Now, don’t be making it all kiddish because that’s going to turn them off, they are going to feel like it’s a setup. My husband and I have had this happen way too often. Only to find our kids trying to make an escape.
And PLEASE do not start off by saying “Johnny can you come here please your father and I need to talk to you about something.”
What is your child immediately thinking?
Bingo! They are in trouble.
Make it genuine. Kids pick up on vibes.
Using your budget meetings or financial discussions are an excellent time because it will allow your kids to hear and see the importance of taking the time to take care of their money.
So tell them what you’re doing and ask them questions that will encourage back and forth communication such as:
- What’s the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word money?
- If you found $100 what would you do with it?
- If your family had to cut back on spending, what are three ways you can help save money?
- How do you get money?
- What are some things you like to do that don’t cost money?
- Have you ever heard the saying “Money doesn’t grow on trees?” What does that mean to you?
- How much money would you like to have one day?
- What will you do with your money?
- Do you think it’s a good idea to spend all of your money? Why or why not?
- If you could buy anything in the world what would it be?
- How do you feel about saving your money?
These questions will give you a feel for where your child’s head is when it comes to money.
You can also find these questions as a printable – Money Conversation Starters for Children activity.
You should be able to determine the following:
- If your child has a clear perception of what money is.
- What your child’s goals are.
- If your child is more a saver or spender.
- If your child is willing to help if the family was in need.
I am a firm believer that allowance should be earned.
This does not say I want you to put your children to work.
Again, Jasmine does not want you to go put your kids to work.
But your children should already be doing things that can be rewarded with an allowance, such as:
- picking up their toys
- making their beds
- taking out the trash
- wiping off the tables/counters
- wiping the windows
- folding clothes
- sorting clothes
- washing dishes
Why should you pay them for things they should be doing anyway?
It’s not necessarily about you paying them to do chores, you are rewarding them for their effort.
Offering an allowance is the best way to teach your children that are too young to work about earning money.
Offering an allowance simply just shifts the responsibility from you to your child, so now instead of your children asking you to buy them candy, now they have their own money so now they will think more different when it’s time to spend theirs versus spending yours.
Not only will this allow you to reward them but it’s showing them that in order to have money you have to be willing to work for it.
Plus you’ll always have a clean house.
At 15 your kids can get a real job. Now you can say Jasmine said put your kids to work. 😂
How much should you pay?
Let’s be realistic here, I am not trying to pay out allowance like I’m taking on another bill. But wait I forgot I have four kids so I guess it is.
I give a weekly allowance equal to half my child’s age. so I will contribute $4.50 per week to my 9-year-old’s allowance as long as she does her chores.
This is what I like to call the turning point for your kids. I call it that because this is when they truly learn the value of their money.
They have been so used to spending yours with no regard, now they will see what it’s like to spend their own.
Here are two trips you can plan for your child.
Find a nice small store, preferably a locally owned store that sells a variety of different things. If it’s the summer and you like fresh fruit and or produce a farmers market is perfect.
Send your kids to a specific area of the store or market with a list of items that you want and give them a specified amount to spend.
Before letting your children go make sure you stay close but far enough that they can see you and encourage them to ask questions.
Your kids will start to ask the store owner or vendors questions about how much the different items on the list will cost.
If your kids are anything like mine, they may ask some crazy questions. My son asked everything he was not supposed to ask. From how long they had been working to how you grow strawberries so he can go home and try it. Thank goodness for my daughter or the mission would have been a complete and total FAIL.
When you are at a local store or farmers market they will be more patient and understanding to what you are trying to teach your children and will be more willing to help rather than going to a large grocery store or a Walmart where they are usually busy.
Plan a shopping trip with a specific amount of money. They can spend the money on whatever they want. This shopping trip usually goes one of two ways.
They will either spend every cent or they will be super cautious because they are analyzing it in their heads as they shop knowing that once it’s gone it’s gone.
If your kids are school age and know basic math have them add up the things they are interested in purchasing as they shop so they can get a feel for how much things cost and what they will be able to afford.
If your child spent every cent, that’s ok because like most they don’t realize what they have done until after they have done it (hint: use this time to ask them about their purchases and how it made them feel). Usually, they will start to think about their wants versus needs and will be more cautious the second time.
If your kids are too young to go on shopping trips set up a fake store or restaurant in the kitchen. Give them a certain amount of money and create scenarios for them. It can be as simple as go to the store and buy three things for $10 with your money.
This will allow your child to learn the fundamentals of money.
Turn saving into a simple game by challenging them to save a certain amount each month. If they are able to save that amount you will offer them a prize, if not, they don’t get a prize.
The prize can be a trip to the movies or to the ice cream shop. Whatever will get them motivated to save.
Play the Marshmallow game
Here’s how it works!
You will give your child one marshmallow. Instead of them eating it, challenge your child to not eat the marshmallow and instead keep it for 10 minutes.
This is the lesson of Delayed Gratification.
If they succeed in delaying gratification and still have that same marshmallow at the end of the 10 minutes, they get another marshmallow. Then you continue to grow the challenge.
Now they have to hold onto both marshmallows for 10 more minutes. If they don’t eat them, you’ll reward them two more marshmallows. If they can delay gratification once again at the end of the 20 minutes, they’ll have four marshmallows.
This is how compound interest on a savings account works. You leave your money untouched for the return of receiving more money.
Create a Fake Bank
Another way to teach your children about compound interest is to set up a fake bank.
We call ours the “Golden Bank” (hence our last name Golden.)
At the end of every week have your child deposit one dollar of their allowance into the bank. every other week, as they continue to make deposits, add a dollar to their account. Your kids are free to make withdrawals at any time, we actually created some fake withdrawal and deposit slips. Just make sure they know that if they choose to withdraw money they won’t accrue interest.
It’s all about them making choices.
You will use this to explain the magic of compound interest and explain that this is what a bank pays you to keep money there and the power of delayed gratification.
Investing can be difficult to teach your children because there are so many different things that go into it.
Read a Book
I would first recommend reading some books like the Little Red Hen to your child. It shows how when you put time and hard work into something you reap the reward.
Make it Relatable
Investing focuses on the future and this can be a difficult concept for your child to understand so relate it to something they can experience like growing their savings account or planting a flower. Time is a major component when it comes to investing so explain that it takes time for things to grow and it takes nourishment (money or water) for them to thrive.
Daytrader is a board game that simulates the stock market (puts you in mind of monopoly). It’s a great family game because it will help teach the young as well as the old. The goal is to be the first player to have enough to retire and rush to the bank before the stock market sets them back in order to win.
Just Have Fun
Teaching your children about money is important but let’s make sure you are having fun with it.
Be creative and adventurous while teaching your children. Make it memorable.
Most Importantly show love in all that you do.
Do you plan on trying any of these games with your children? Let me know in the comments.
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