Know what would be nice? If kids came with all the knowledge they need to become responsible and functional adults. Unfortunately for new parents, they actually come with zero instructions and it becomes our responsibility to teach them and guide them. Some lessons are more important than others, but in my opinion taking the time to teach kids how to manage money is one of the most important.
It should go without saying, but when your kids leave home, they will need to know how to manage the money they earn. Otherwise, they will very likely end up right back in their old bedroom, lol.
How to Teach Kids to Manage Money
Teaching kids anything though can be a fight if they don’t want to learn.
That’s why when you’re trying to figure out how to teach kids to manage money, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
If, by some chance, your kids really rebel against the idea, keep trying.
They’re kids and sometimes they have harder heads than an adult can.
Tips for teaching Kids to Manage Money
But, if you can get your kids involved and excited about learning kids money lessons, they will be far more likely to pick things up quickly and easily.
Start the Kids Money Lessons Early
When you’re trying to teach your kids to manage money, the earlier you begin the money lessons, the better.
Older kids and teens tend to be set in their ways when it comes to spending which means to teach them, you may have to break bad spending habits.
If you start teaching them how to manage money early on though, they will build good habits as they grow.
Give Them a Chance to Earn
Your kids won’t be able to learn the value of a dollar, to connect that work = money or learn how to manage their own finances if they never have any money.
Birthday and holiday money is not enough as it only happens a couple times a year. Instead, give them the chance to do extra chores or have a part-time job if they’re old enough.
Teach Them to Save Money
My own kids may not like it, but they are required to save 20% of it right off the top whenever they have money.
Paying yourself first is a finance lesson everyone should learn. For kids, this is especially important to reinforce.
Most kids have that “spend now, save later” mindset. As adults, that way of thinking could lead to major financial issues.
If you have smaller kids, you can reinforce this lesson by getting them a “Spend Save Give” piggy bank such as THIS one.
Play Kids Money Games to Reinforce the Ideas
Younger kids often learn best by playing games which means that using games is a great way to teach kids money lessons.
A few of my favorite kids money games are:
- Melon Rind Clumsy Thief Money Game
- Learning Resources Money Bags Game
- Learning Resources Money Activity Set
- Learn & Climb Play Money Set for Kids – Realistic Dollar Bills, Coins, Credit & Debit Cards & Checkbook
- Melissa & Doug Pretend-to-Spend Wallet
- Learning Resources Pretend & Play Calculator Cash Register
and of course, my favorite money game of all, Monopoly!
Let them Help You
You likely spend money everyday or so which means you have plenty of opportunities to teach your kids how to manage money.
When you go grocery shopping, let them help choose the cheapest items and pay for the transaction. If you have older kids, have them help you make your grocery list.
Doing so will help teach them the correlation between money and how much things cost.
Involve Them in the Family Finances
I know this may not sit well with some people, but if you have older school age kids or teens, they should be somewhat involved in the family finances. Doing so will teach them how to budget (Six Dollar Family) and how to make ends meet each week; especially if money is tight for your family.
Now, with that said, do they need to know every little aspect of your finances? Absolutely not.
The idea is to teach them how to budget and how to manage money; not to add stress and worry to their young shoulders.
Did you enjoy this post? You may also like these:
- 40 Books that Teach Kids About Money
- 201 Frugal Tips to Save You Money
- 53 Frugal Living Tips from The Great Depression
- How to Prepare for a Recession
Manage Your Own Money Well
Finally, the biggest way to teach kids to manage money is to manage your own well.
We are all aware that children learn the most by watching the people around them. If they see you spending money willy nilly, that is what they will learn to do.
However, if they see you managing your money wisely, using frugal tips to save as much as possible, building your savings and paying your bills on time, they will learn to do the same.
They really are watching you so keep in mind that what you do matters.