It is so important to teach kids about money at an early age. We want kids to learn about saving, spending, and giving so they can carry those habits into their 20s, 30s, 40s, and so on. There are some great books and tools that you can use to teach your kids or students about healthy money habits.
Read Books About Money
There are many helpful books to read with kids that teach them about the importance of money. Some helpful books that younger kids can understand are Give Save Spend with the Three Little Pigs and The Berenstain Bears’ Trouble with Money. If you have an older child a great book is Amelia Bedelia Means Business.
Spend, Save, Give Jars
I think this idea is so helpful and can be used for younger children. You can use 3 mason jars (or any type of jars) and you label them spend, save, and give. Each time your child gets money from weekly allowance, birthday, holidays, or anything else they put money on one of the three jars. You can explain to them what each jar means and what the money in that jar is for.
Spend- this is for money to the toy store, favorite restaurant, or however you want to spend it now
Save- this is for money you want to save for an expensive toy or trip. You can also put this in a savings account
Give- this is for money you will tithe to church, give to a charity of your choice, or use to help someone else
Open a Savings Account
When they are a little bit older and after they have used the three jars for a few years you can take them to the bank and open a savings account with them. You can explain to them how this account is for money you cannot use for an immediate want like a toy or candy but for something special you are saving for like a trip or an expensive toy or even college. You can make going to the bank a weekly trip and they can deposit the money they want to save.
Teach Them About Loans
This is not required but if you are going to give your child money for a toy because they do not have enough you can make this a learning lesson about loans. You can explain to them that you will loan them the money but they will have to pay interest. This means if I give you $20 for that toy you will owe me $22 (10% interest) when you pay me back. You can set your own interest rate but it will help your kid start to understand that owing people money isn’t very fun 🙂
Create a Savings Chart
You can create this on paper or on a word document. If there is something special they want to save for you can write that item and the amount at the top of the page. Below is one example. You can then write different increments ($5, $10, $15, $20, etc) until they reach their goal. They can color in the thermometer or any design you choose so they can visually see how much more money they have to save until they reach their goals. You can also set rewards for reaching a certain point on the chart!
Play the Budget Game
One idea is to let them think of a business idea (sell some crafts, lemonade stand, etc) and you can help them create a budget for that business. They will need to write down all the supplies needed to get started and write a dollar amount for each. You can give them a budget cap or a specific dollar amount they have to spend so they know their limit. This is a fun way kids can start understanding how to create a budget and the importance of sticking to the budget (if they go over they will be in debt!)
What are some other ways you teach your kids about money? Let me know!