This summer when school is out, chances are your kids will be asking for money to go to the movies, to hang out at the mall or to buy new games, skateboards or whatever it is that kids are into today. With that in mind, summer is actually a great time to teach your children important lessons about money. What your children learn at an early age serves as the financial foundation for the rest of their lives. Here are a few simple money lessons to get your children thinking the right way about money.
• Set an example. Deal with your own money responsibly and thoughtfully. Trust us, your kids will notice.
• Stuff costs money. When your child wants to buy something help them understand the value of the purchase. Take a few dollars out of their piggy bank or savings account with them, take it to the store, and have your child hand the money to the cashier. Once they understand that their money is worth something, they’ve learned a very valuable lesson.
• Weigh costs and budget accordingly. “If you buy this video game, then you won’t have the money to buy a new skateboard.” At this age, your kids should be able to weigh decisions and realize that each decision has a consequence.
• Sharing is caring. Let your kids pick a charity or even someone they know who needs a little help. They’ll learn that giving doesn’t just affect the people they give to; it affects the giver as well.
• Open a bank account. By the time your child’s a teenager, they should have a simple bank account. This takes money management to the next level, and it will prepare them for managing their financial lives when they get older.
• Credit cards can be dangerous. As soon as your kid turns 18, they will be inundated with credit card offers – especially once they’re in college. If you haven’t taught them why debt is a bad idea, they’ll become another credit card victim.
Stop by the week of July 18-22 and one of our Youth Specialists will be ready to help answer questions with your kiddo or teen.