Kids & Money: How To Approach It

Most parents would do anything for their children, including give them whatever they want. Spoiling a kid rotten is fun because you like bringing joy to them. However, there is a time in life where parents will have to start teaching children the value of a dollar. It’s hard in this world to earn money and it’s not something that is meant to be spent 24/7. There are plenty of ways to approach getting your child to learn about all the pros and cons of money. Here are six ways you can teach your kids the importance of how to handle it.

Pay them for bigger household tasks

You need some help around the house and your child doesn’t want to contribute? Promise them a bit more cash in their allowance. These bonuses are a way to say thanks for contributing to keeping the house afloat while also introducing your kid to the worth of working hard. However, refrain from paying them for minor, obvious tasks they do. Stuff like cleaning their room and taking out the trash are not tasks you need to pay them for. Instead, major tasks like mowing the lawn and cleaning the cars are time-consuming and tiring, so sweetening the deal makes it easier.

Go over how to budget money for various occasions

It’s important for us to plan out how much money we are going to spend for certain things, so it’s just as important to get kids to think the same way. Let’s say a birthday is coming out for someone and your child wants to give them a gift. Work with them on how much money is worth spending on said gift. This will give them the idea to think before they spend.

Teach them to buy things that last

It’s easy for kids to want to buy food or toys that are only good for one use. Still, parents should tell their kids to consider items that would have a little bit more longevity. You want to teach kids that spending money on things that won’t last long would lead to buying it again if they want to enjoy it more, while an item that may last at least a year or two would stop them from buying something similar.

Set up a place for them to save up their money

Most kids will want to spend their newly acquired money on something immediately. However, parents need to teach their kids that saving some of it up for future expenses in important to do, especially if they want to buy something really expensive or hold on to money for important situations (college fund, insurance, etc.). Get a jar and tell your child to put half of their allowance in the jar for future use and the other half they should pocket now for immediate use.

Start an allowance

This is a very common way of introducing kids to cash. Parents figure out how much money they are willing to give their child every week, month, year, etc. Set guidelines as to what they can’t buy with the money so they don’t go crazy with it. The longer the time between payments is, the more hesitant your child will be to spend money. An allowance relieves some of the pressure off of the parent since the child will have to learn that, once the money is handed out, they must wait before they can get more.

Take them to the store

In order to begin to trust kids with cash, you need to show them what spending money looks like. Bring them with you to a store and purchase a few items. Show them how to count their money, give it to the cashier, and get change back. This would also be an opportunity to teach them more complex aspects of spending, such as using a credit card or writing a check.

This won’t be an easy thing to teach kids. They may be very confused at first or they may want to go crazy with wanting to buy things. Nevertheless, it’s better to teach kids early about the importance of money. Learning how to spend money while also budgeting how much you spend and saving the money you don’t will be better for kids to learn immediately rather than wait until they’re older and need it more.

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Christopher Birsner
In addition to being the editor of the Massapequa Observer and Plainview-Old Bethpage Herald, Chris Birsner is the sports editor for Long Island Weekly and often contributes gaming articles to the arts and entertainment publication.

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