It’s never too early to learn financial responsibility. April is National Financial Literacy Month, so Village Bank is offering up these tips on age-appropriate ways to talk to your kids about cash.
Tips for Parents of Preschool- or Elementary School-aged Children
- Help them understand the difference between a want and a need. This is a lesson that is never too early to start teaching.
- When emptying your pockets of change, teach your toddlers and preschoolers the names of the coins and their worth.
- Make money fun! Play store with play money or make a game of finding coins on your walks together that you then save in a special jar or piggy bank to spend on something special.
- For younger children who have begun to receive allowances for chores, set up three jars: one for saving, one for giving and one for splurging. Village Bank has developed a fun learning tool that helps kids determine how much of their allowances they will save, spend and donate. Visit a local branch during April with your kids and pick one up to take home!
Tips for Parents of Middle School to High School Age Students
- When they are old enough to earn their own money through chores or part-time jobs, take them to the bank to open their first savings account.
- If you’re thinking of giving your older children access to your credit card, consider instead providing them with prepaid debit cards. That way they understand their limits and will be much more careful with how they spend the money.
- Make time to sit down and explain credit cards, loans, interest rates and the importance of having a strong credit score to your teen. In Minnesota, the median credit card balances across generations is $6,299 for Baby Boomers, $6,898 for Generation X, $3,244 for millennials, and $1,388 for Generation Z (who just begin graduating from college this year). Talk to your children now so that they will develop smart spending and saving habits for their future.
- Invite your teens to help plan a dinner with you, working together to design a budget that you all need to stick to when grocery shopping for ingredients.
- Teach by example. Pay bills on time, spend mindfully and talk with your children about the importance of being responsible with money
How have you helped your kids learn financial responsibility? Share your tips on our Facebook page!
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