As parents and caregivers, we often rely on schools to teach kids about spelling, grammar, math, history, science and more. But necessary life skills – such as money management and banking – aren’t often incorporated into the curricula, so parents need to fill that gap.
Teaching kids how to handle money while they’re young can help them steer clear of financial pitfalls later. But parents too often shelter their kids from family finances, and in so doing, aren’t helping them develop necessary skills. So, here are a few simple steps to train your kids to be financially responsible.
In an article titled “For All Ages: Teaching Young People About Money,” FDIC Consumer News said to:
- Engage in everyday conversations about money. Discuss product pricing while at stores, deciding which item is the better buy and why. And as you pay, explain why you just chose the method you did.
- Consider an allowance. Since kids have no job income, this is a way to instill the concepts of earning, saving and spending.
- Help kids develop a healthy skepticism of advertising. Analyze ads and fine print with them to help them understand that when things seem too good to be true, they usually are.
FDIC Consumer News said that kids in grades 3-5 are ready for deeper lessons, such as:
- Thinking before buying. This includes separating needs from wants and prioritizing how they use their money, such as on a grocery shopping list.
- Sticking to a budget. Creating a simple plan will help them learn to set limits.
- Opening a savings account. Shop together for one, looking at interest rates, required minimums, fees and more. “If you also encourage your child to keep a log of the money in the account,” FDIC Outreach and Program Development chief Luke Reynolds said, “that could be an opportunity for you to work together on a simple math exercise and learn the value of keeping track of money.”
- Understanding various payment methods. Explain where debit card funds specifically come from and that credit cards are a type of loan that one pays back with added interest.
Since kids in grades 6-8 are often starting to earn money outside the home, FDIC Consumer News says they’re ready to learn the concepts of working more to earn more, saving for long-term goals, and credit cards and borrowing.
To help you train your child to be financially responsible from any age, ECCU offers Start Young Saving and Spending Accounts for kids 0-17. These unique accounts provide full-featured digital banking for kids, including a youth debit card, complete with parental controls, limits and monitoring. Learn more here.