It’s never too late or too early to begin the money conversations with your child. April is “Teach Kids to Save” month, so this article will equip you to do just that.
5 Resources That Help Parents Teach Kids to Spend, Save, and Give Money
1. Start responding with: “Why do you ask?” According to New York Times personal finance columnist, Ron Lieber, responding to your child’s question about any deep subject matter like money, war, faith, drugs, or sex with the phrase, “Why do you ask?” will help you understand what your child has already heard on the subject. It will also help you understand why they want to know more now, and will help them engage their thinking on the subject, as well.
2. Involve your child in financial transactions you’re already conducting. You know you have to buy groceries again, so next time, pay in cash and physically show your child how much money it costs to feed your family for a week. That can be a great way to start any number of financial conversations:
- How dad/mom earn money to pay for food
- Why dad/mom work to provide for the family
- How much each piece of currency is worth
- How to carry cash safely/How not to carry cash safely
- How blessed you are to have money for food instead of being hungry like so many others in the world
- Where you can donate food or your time to help feed the hungry
For 8 more simple conversation-starters, read here.
3. Read real-life examples from real parents. This one’s so cool. Last year, I put together a series of interviews with real Piggy Bank Dreams readers who had a story to share about their kids and money. The neat thing about each story is that there were some incredible lessons each parent learned throughout the process, too.
- How to Teach Your Kids That It’s NOT an “Allowance”
- How to Teach Your Children the Life-Shaping Value of a Summer Job
- How to Teach Your Children the Consequences of Borrowing Money
To read more stories from other parents like you, head over to my “Kids & Money” resource page!
4. Learn what, where, when, and why to teach your kids about money, hard work, giving, and gratitude by reading “Smart Money, Smart Kids” by Rachel Cruze & Dave Ramsey.
This book is an easy read that will equip you with the knowledge, tools, ideas, and research behind teaching your children financial principles. It goes beyond growing money in a piggy bank; it teaches what the Bible says about money, debt, giving, work ethic, respecting parents, and helps parents give kids the firm foundation they need to become responsible, independent adults.
5. Start reading to your children about money. There are some really cool children’s books about money that my daughter has really enjoyed. Here are a few of her favorites:
Shanti Saves Her Money by Lisa Bullar
Watch Shanti save up for a special event by doing chores, creating a “Save Jar,” and opening a savings account at the bank. In the back of the book, you’ll find a glossary of terms, discussion questions, and a craft that you can do with your child to help him/her learn about saving money.
Lily Learns about Wants and Needs by Lisa Bullard
Read how Lily’s parents help her understand wants versus needs using everyday examples like groceries, toys, and games. They also talk about having fun as a family without spending money (i.e. visiting a playground).
Junior’s Adventures by Dave Ramsey
If you want your kids to learn about saving up for purchases instead of going into debt, using the three cash envelopes: Give, Save, and Spend, giving to those in need with their own money, developing a work ethic, and doing chores, then check out Dave Ramsey’s children’s book series: Junior’s Adventures.
The box set includes six books filled with life lessons for your kiddos. Right now, my daughter really enjoys Careless at the Carnival and The Super Red Racer the best, but this series will apply to her life in many different ways throughout the years.
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Photo Credit: Istiaque Emon (UnSplash)