Guest post by Tracey Clayton, full time mom of three girls.
As soon as they can count, kids get in touch with the material world and learn about money. Money makes the world go round, but in teaching kids how to value money they can receive the financial savviness that will define their financial success. And since money doesn’t grow on trees you will also need to give them a run for theirs by teaching them the value of hard work. Knowing the basic concepts behind the clockwork of an important aspect of life will allow them to handle money responsibly and a positive attitude towards it.
The road to financial success is paved by knowledge. So, as soon as possible, allow them to come into contact with money. In their early years children develop mostly through their senses, so give them notes, coins, credit cards, so they get introduced to the concept. Because kids may think that “banks just give out money,” once they acquire simple abstract notions of thinking you can teach them about “invisible money.” Also, talk to kids about your job and how hard work is exchanged for monetary gain. As they come to understand money, they will start valuing it more, as well as you and your money.
Learning How to Save Money
When teaching kids about money it is also important to teach them about saving it. By conserving money, children can learn how to manage their budget, and stay on top of costs and spending. A simple notebook can be a great way they can keep count of their finances, while a piggy bank is a classic when storing it. Additionally, you might want to open your child’s savings account, which can teach them about interest rates. Saving is also about spending, and can be accomplished each day. Teach your kids to save up for a big purchase, like a new expensive toy, new clothes, and to always leave some funds on the side for a rainy day. Also, you should teach them about price difference and how to find a bargain. There is always a cheaper alternative and kids might enjoy the notion of saving money by buying quality second hand clothing, searching for special deals and offers in toy stores, or by shopping online.
Learning the Value of Hard Work
Once kids understand the concepts behind it, try giving them a taste of money. Begin giving them a weekly or monthly allowance that can teach them how to manage money. They might spend it on extra sweets, toys, or games, while instilling a sense of possession. It becomes an integral part of their personality, and they subsequently gain independence and greater self-importance – they feel closer to adults.
Teach Them How to Earn Money
At the same time, kids might feel entitled to more than you give them. This creates an opportunity for you to introduce them to an early form of work ethics. Conclude a deal where you will provide them with extra money for doing chores around the house. They will come to value work as a way of achieving individual goals. Kids will also develop discipline and a sense of accomplishment. So, even if they don’t receive anything in return, they might still receive satisfaction in keeping their room tidy, or by making their beds each morning before school.
Another great way you can teach kids about the value and benefits of hard work is by awakening their entrepreneurial spirit. Inspire your children to take up a business venture, which will be both fun, lucrative, and teach them about what it means to earn money. A lemonade stand can inspire their creativity in creating the stand itself, while mowing the neighbor’s lawn can be a simple way they can learn to meet deadlines. By taking up a simple business model, kids can learn how to become organized, and even simple marketing and sales tactics that they will enjoy.
Once your kids have embraced the concepts behind money and hard work, it gives you an ample platform to teach them about gratitude and thankfulness. Teach your kids that there are children in the world who are less fortunate, and they also need a happy life. Inspire your kids to donate their old clothes and toys to charity, as a way of giving back. As they learn about money and work ethics, they will ultimately build their character, becoming financially savvy and better individuals in the process.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.” Find her on Facebook.