Posted by Mary Caraccioli | Filed under Kids
Check out my tips in this months Parenting Magazine!
When I was asked “are there new money realities for kids today,” the answer was a resounding yes! While there are basic money truths that hold true from generation to generation, the experience we have with money has changed. Our kids don’t see actual cash as often as we did. So many of our transactions from the gas station to the grocery store are electronic. That makes an already abstract concept like money even more so. But not to worry- you can still teach your children the value of a dollar even if they don’t see George Washington’s portrait too often.
Here is what I recommend for kids 5 and up: make a money date with your child. The date starts with a talk. You let them know how hard you (and/or other breadwinners) worked for your paycheck that week. Don’t go over board but you can say things like “Here are some of the tough things I had to do this week at work,” and let them know how much time went into your work- even after hours (emails or phone calls)- but keep it upbeat.
Next take a sum of money that represents some but not all of your pay ($10-$20 is enough) and take your child to the bank and deposit the cash.
You are showing them the money trail.
Then take them shopping- let them spend the amount you put into the account, but not a penny more. I suggest paying with your debit card. Let them know that even though it just looks like you a swiping a card and you get all of the things you want- the truth is you can only buy up to the dollar amount you put into your bank account.
This exercise takes about 60-90 minutes and is really helpful for younger school age children to get their minds around the path our money takes or the money trail. I like to follow it up a day or so later with a quick little talk about how the electronic “trip” our money takes makes my life so easy.
Here is a sample conversation about electronic deposit: “Because my work told the bank how much money I earned, I don’t have to make that extra trip to the bank. They automatically put the money in my account. I also don’t have to carry around all of our money when I go shopping. Using this card, the store knows whether or not I have enough money to pay for what I bought. So these conveniences help me.”
Don’t worry if this lesson doesn’t stick the first time around.
Repeat it and keep finding examples of the money trail and your kids will get it!
Tags: money confidante, parenting
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