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Training Kids to Use Their Money Wisely

Jul 16, 2008
Have you ever heard that it is easier to teach things to kids than adults? It's true. This goes for money, too. If you want your kids to save more than they spend, start at an early age. Here are some tips:

Play money games with your kids. Monopoly was a popular game when I was a kid and kids still like it today. Choosing to buy or sell properties and negotiating fees with other players is good practice for dealing with real money. Just because you have the money to develop your properties doesn't mean that you have the money for upkeep. Players have to make decisions based on present and future earnings.

It's easy to forget about money matters when the parents are footing the bill for everything. A five dollar magazine didn't seem so expensive then. But when they have to pay for it themselves, more thought goes into the process. They'll think about whether they really need that magazine or not.

Don't let your kids get hooked on name brand clothing at an early age. It's okay to have a few name brand items, but they are not the only clothes that will fit their bodies. Take them shopping when you go to Wal-Mart, Target, or a consignment shop. As they choose what to wear, advise them to peruse all of the racks to compare all the prices instead of picking the most expensive clothing.

Bring kids grocery shopping. Have children assist in cutting out coupons and making a grocery list. Giving children excessive details on how to shop is not what will help them learn. Instead, while shopping, explain the process of comparing prices in order to find a bargain.

Practice what you preach. Children learn by observing adults, and you will be giving your kids a very bad example to follow if you make impulsive purchases every time you have some extra cash. Control your spending and stick to your budget so that your children learn to do the same.

Purchase a coin bank. Some kids think that the best money is the kind that folds, but the kind that jingles will spend just as easily. Empty your purse and pockets of their spare coins and collect them in a jar or piggy bank. It may be a good idea to give each child a piggy bank to collect their loose change. Even let them choose their own bank.

You'll be surprised how quickly the coins will collect. I find coins on the floor and in the couch cushions all the time. Every three months or so, take a trip to the coin machine in the grocery store and find out how much you have saved. The kids can put a portion of their money away for savings and keep the rest to use as they wish.

We learn how to handle money through a series of trials and errors, and kids have to learn too. You can help them to do so successfully by helping them to know how to make good financial decisions and allowing them to suffer the occasional bad consequences of bad choices.
About the Author
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