There are many things that children learn about as they grow. Many of their life lessons come from what they learn at home. If you find that it is time to start discussing money with your children, here are some ideas to get them involved with your finances.
Plan grocery trips together
Do your children often accompany you to the grocery store? Boost their involvement beyond roaming the aisles with you. Groceries are often a large part of our yearly expenses,1 so it could provide a valuable learning experience. Sit them down to map out your budget and list of needed items before you go to the store. They can also help you clip coupons, and you can explain their importance to savings. If they try to push an impulse buy while at the store, tell them how you need to stick to what’s on the list because impulse buys add up quickly and throw off your budget.
Saving money for future expenses is an important lesson to teach children.2 Whether it’s from allowance, birthdays or holidays, help your child start saving their money with an at-home version of a savings account. A classic piggy bank could do the trick. While they tuck money away for a rainy day, work on building your savings account, too. You and your child can work towards a common goal, such as a fun activity or event you can enjoy together.
Show them your utility bills
It’s natural for children to not understand how your home’s utilities work, but it also provides another learning opportunity.3 Take the time to try to describe your utility bills and explain how the electricity they use isn’t free. Show them that there is a cost for each utility and that the bill has to be paid each month to continue service. Point out that the more electricity and water they use, the more the bill will cost. You can teach them good practices so one day they’ll know how to keep their utility costs manageable.
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1Martin, Anikka. (2023, Feb 27). Retrieved from: https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/ag-and-food-statistics-charting-the-essentials/food-prices-and-spending/
2Lake, Rebecca. (2022, Jun 21). Retrieved from: https://www.investopedia.com/personal-finance/10-tips-teach-your-child-save/
3Grossman, Amanda. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from: https://www.moneyprodigy.com/how-to-teach-kids-how-to-pay-bills/