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Tuesday, January 13, 2009
How To Teach Your Kids To Be Smart With Money

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By Grace Chen

In today’s unstable economy, one of the best things that you can do to prepare your children for adulthood is to teach them how to work well with money. Finances and credit will follow them their whole lives, so it is never too early to teach them good money managing skills.And even if you aren’t the best at balancing your checkbook or your budget, teaching your kid to be smart with money is not as hard as you might think.Smart Money Ideas for Kids

  1. Give An Allowance - An allowance is a quick and easy way to start teaching your child about money management. Have the allowance be equal to the expenses they are expected to cover, but not in excess. This will teach your child that money isn’t unlimited, and will show them the necessity of saving for something they really want.

  2. Be A Good Model - One of the best ways to teach your kids to be smart with money is to be a good role model yourself. Use cash for purchases instead of your credit card, or make larger credit card payments then necessary and include your child in viewing the payment process. Make it a monthly habit to take them aside while paying the bill on time. If they are old enough, explain in simple terms how these habits lead to a better credit score. Avoid fighting about money with your significant other. Make money behaviors in your own home positive .

  3. Get A Piggy Bank - A piggy bank is a great visual reminder about saving, and helps keep savings safe until a predetermined amount of money or time has been reached. It also helps teach your children about setting goals for their money.

  4. Differentiate Between WANTS and NEEDS - Kids have a hard time understanding the difference between a want and a need. Show them how to prioritize their spending by creating lists of the things they want to spend money on and prioritizing them in order of the most important.

  5. Open A Savings Or Checking Account - Older children can learn how banking works through their own account. Open one for them and show them how to balance their statement, write checks, and make deposits and withdrawals.

  6. Use Mistakes As Teaching Examples - At some point your child will make a mistake with their money. Maybe they will spend it at the wrong time or on the wrong thing. You can use these times as a way to teach your children the right way to handle money. Then you can help them plan for what they will do differently in the future.

  7. Be Charitable - Teaching your children to be charitable to others is an important life lesson that will do them well in the future. Whether it is setting aside a tithe for the church, adopting a family or cause or finding some other way to donate money, they can learn ways to be charitable to those who are less fortunate.

  8. Make It Age Appropriate - Your teenager is going to want less supervision of their money than your preschooler. However, that doesn’t mean that they won’t make mistakes. Certain money skills are best taught at certain ages, and while you may be willing to pay for the occasional slip up in budgeting, make sure that your kids understand that you can and will say no when necessary.

  9. Talk About Money Early On -You will be amazed at how much your kids pick up from you. Make money a topic of conversation, whether it is about the investments that you made to help pay for their college tuition payments, or simply saving for that new CD they want. When you make money matters important, your kids will too.

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