How to Teach Children About Money
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) Like hygiene, personal finance is a collection of habits you practice daily throughout your life. Developing these habits early on will ensure you abide by them more stringently. Recent studies by MassMutual show nearly three out of four parents feel it's important to teach their children about finances and 83% of moms who participated say they play an active role in teaching their kids at an average age of around six years old. Yet with so many young adults living with their parents, something is clearly being lost in translation.
Why can't they dance like we did? You need these economic leeches out of your houses A$AP so you can retire, but, in order to accomplish this, these fiscal parasites need to learn a thing or two about finances. To assist, we gathered a panel of finance experts, parents and teachers in order to share creative, innovative and practical financial tips for teaching kids the ins and outs of their wallet. Here's what we found at the intersection of Sesame Street and Main Street.
1. The Culture of Instant Gratification
The Internet is a gift and a curse; we have the collective knowledge of the world at our fingertips. It's easy as a parent to give your kids an electronic device to distract themselves while you work on making gravy, but those devices provide instant gratification to both the parent and child. If every day is Christmas, it loses meaning, so it's important to teach children discipline as early as possible.
"A couple years ago, my 9 year-old son really wanted a Nintendo DS," says Kyle James, founder of couponing site Rather-Be-Shopping.com. "The sticker price of $150 was shocking to me."
James saw this as a great time to teach his son the value of bucks by suggesting he try recycling as a way to earn legal tender.
"He jumped all over it," James said. "Not only did he save and sort our recyclables, he also hit up all his grandparents for theirs. He finally saved up enough money for the Nintendo DS. It was a great experience for him and taught him that money does not just grow on trees."
By forcing him to work for the video game system on his own rather than simply giving it to him, James taught his son a slew of valuable lessons in applying management, entrepreneurship and hard work while waiting for the huge payout at the end. The gadgets kids use (video game consoles, tablets, smart phones, etc.) are filled with ads and paywalls that encourage spending, so teaching your kids the concepts of patience and dedication are vital. Otherwise, you may enjoy our tips on getting your money back from your kids' purchases .