Teaching Kids About Money … So They Don’t Worry

teaching kids about money
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Maybe it’s different now, but when I was at school I don’t remember having “money class.”

Nobody taught us how to manage a bank account, or how to save … nor even how to enjoy spending!

Even my own father who’d give me pocket money would then chastise me if I spent it on something he thought was a “waste” of money.

Clearly I didn’t, and I could never quite figure out what he’d given it to me for if I wasn’t allowed to spend it on something I at least thought I was going to enjoy.

I wasn’t alone.  A lot of us reach adulthood not knowing how to manage money.

Too many young people end their college or university days in debt because they simply don’t understand how to use money.

It’s key to learn about money at a young age with your parents. How you teach kids about money depends on how old they are. Here are some ideas for teaching your kids about money based on their age.

Elementary School Level

1. Use a clear jar as a piggy bank.

When your child can clearly see the amount of money that they have, they can see daily how much their money grows. For example, one day, they may have one dollar. Then the next day, they might have a dollar and a dime. Make sure you make a big deal out of this. Seeing how much money they have, and knowing how much the money is worth, is important in showing them how nice it is to have money.

2. Show them the stuff that costs money.

When your child knows that the things they want cost money, they’ll become very motivated to save up for the object they so desperately want.

3. Set an example.

Little eyes are watching you so it’s important that you’re setting a good example for them to follow.

Never argue with your partner about money in front of your child. It’ll only make them worried and get them to believe that arguing about money is a norm.

If you are in the habit of worrying about money and you don’t want to pass on the pattern to your children, now might be a good time to break the habit.

NLP can break unwanted behaviour and thought patterns very rapidly and easily.  A good program which focusses on the issue of stopping the habit of worrying about money can be found here. 

stop worrying and grow rich NLP program

Tweens

  1. Don’t give allowances; instead, give commissions.

    You shouldn’t be rewarding your child for sitting on the couch all day playing video games. Teach them that money is a token of exchange for value and contribution. They can add value to the domestic situation by sweeping the kitchen floor, doing the dishes or the laundry, for example.

    The message you want to get across isn’t about hard work or “slavery” but about team work.

    Ensure that you praise and thank them – which doesn’t have to be fawning, but can be demonstrated in your more relaxed relationship with them, and perhaps more freely allowing other privileges.

    That’s not to say that you should ever draw an association between their work and “extras” – let them figure out for themselves how reciprocity works!

2. Let them see that sometimes you have to prioritise your spending.

If your child wants to buy new shoes, remind them that if they buy those shoes, they won’t be able to buy that new dress they want. This will make them think about which item they would rather spend their money on.

3. Stress the importance of giving.

Once they start making their own money, it might be a good idea to persuade them to choose a charity they’d like to donate some of their money to. This simple action will be very humbling to them; allowing them to realise the importance of money and giving.

Teens

1. Give them the responsibility of a bank account.

Allowing your teen to have the responsibility of having a higher amount of money in a bank account, will allow them to be more conscious with how they spend their money.

2. Teach them the danger of credit cards.

Once your teen turns 18, credit card salesmen will be buzzing like flies around your child to sell them a credit card. If you don’t teach them about why debt is a bad place to be, they could quickly fall victim to credit cards.

Your child’s age will determine how you go about teaching them about money. This type of concept won’t be easy to teach, but there are numerous techniques to use to get the message across.

If you aren’t the person to teach your kids about money, somebody else will, and you don’t want that.  Regardless of your personal history with money, if you have children, now is the time to ensure that you’re a good role model.

After all, you’d want to be setting them up for the life skills schools never taught us, and that surely includes having a healthy relationship with money.

For more information about my NLP based “Stop Worrying And Grow Rich” program, click this link.

Hope that helps!

Trevor. 🙂

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