With Powerball in the news, the lottery and money is on everyone’s mind. It’s nice to dream about what we’d do if we suddenly never had to worry about money again. Since most of us will deal with financial issues throughout our lives, it’s vital to be smart about money. Moreover, we need to teach our children to be smart with money. If you aren’t sure how to do that, these tips may help:
Set an Example
If you save money, your child will likely grow up to do it, too. If, on the other hand, you consistently spend money on things you don’t need, your child won’t learn the difference between needing and wanting. Clearly delineate that difference – we need food, clothing, and shelter. However, we don’t necessarily need a big cookie with our sandwich or designer clothing. Ask yourself, “do I need this” when shopping, and set an example for the kids by walking away when you don’t.
Let Kids Handle Money
Instead of saying, “That toy costs $20,” let your kids see how much $20 is. As early as kindergarten or first grade, your kids will begin learning coin and dollar values in school. Use those lessons as a jump-off point. Show them what $20 looks like or say, “Did you know $20 can also buy…” Then name a practical item. Teach them how to save money; jars marked “save” and “spend” might be a good place to begin.
Don’t Just Get; Give
Teach your children the importance of donating both money and possessions. Even the smallest kids can tithe a bit of allowance in church or Sunday school. Make regular trips to Goodwill or a soup kitchen to donate things or volunteer your time.