Children are much smarter than we give them credit for. No matter the age of your children, you can keep the financial fun going throughout the years. Keep these lessons in mind as you guide your son or daughter with financially sound advice at any age.
AGES 4-6: KEEP IT A CONVERSATION
Even at an early age you can start debunking the myth that money grows on trees. Something as simple as, “Mommy goes to work to earn money, and then she puts it in the bank…” will get the gears of understanding turning.
AGES 7-9: ENGAGE IN ACTIVITIES
Too often money is translated into a source of stress; don’t impede this attitude on your kids! Make money a fun topic by engaging in activities together. Consider collecting spare change and spending the money saved on a fun treat for the family. Above all, keep things positive as a way to keep your kids listening.
AGE 10-12: WITH WORK COMES PROFIT
At this age your kids may be interested in earning some dollars of their own. Consider offering an allowance in exchange for chores done around the house. Not into allowances? Help your kids collect recyclables, which they can later cash in (while keeping our plant green).
AGES 13-15: EMPHASIZE SAVINGS
From babysitting to bagging groceries kids in their early teens may start to earn some bigger bucks. As your kids become more independent do your best to pass on saving words of wisdom. Think about opening a joint bank account together to learn more about banking, earned interest, etc. You might even consider matching whatever they save as a way to incentivize them even more.
AGES 16 AND OVER: GUIDE, DON’T DICTATE
In their last few years before entering adulthood hold onto your kids attention by becoming more of a financial advisor and less of a dictator. Resist the urge to tell your kids how and when to spend their money. Instead, keep the educational aspect going with more adult-related topics like investing and stocks. Before you know it your kids will be out the door facing the world with their own financial responsibility, do your best to keep their ear as long as possible.