As parents, we want to teach our children about financial responsibility early on. Here are five useful tools to help teach kids how to manage their money and create a secure financial future.
1. The Moonjar
Moonjar is a child-friendly piggy bank divided into three compartments: save, spend and give.
Developed specifically to increase children’s financial literacy, the structure of the Moonjar encourages kids to think about how and where their money will go. You can purchase either cardboard or hard-plastic versions of the Moonjar from many online retailers, or, you can simply take three glass jars and label them yourself for a thrifty alternative (and what better way to set an example).
I love this example from My Motherload
Either way, the Moonjar concept is a great way to get your kids practicing money management.
2. Play Store
Teach your young ones how to recognize different coins while boosting their math skills. Gather some “stock” (fruit, stuffed toys, or any other goodies you have around the house) and create price tags for each item. Some should be labeled with a cost of “one nickel and one dime” while others can have monetary value ($.35) to emphasize math skills as well. Use a toy shopping basket, a reusable grocery bag or even a basket for your child to gather her purchases in, then help then arrive at the total.
3. Coin Games
A simple way to teach your kids about coins is to let them count your change jar and then let them keep whatever they count correctly. But there are also many games involving coins that are both educational and fun. Dollars and Dice, for example, is great for kids learning to add and subtract. Gather one die and a mixed pile of coins. Assign each of the numbers on the die to a coin, as follows:
- 1 Penny
- 2 Nickel
- 3 Dime
- 4 Quarter
- 5 Any coin
- 6 Lose turn
- With each turn, a player rolls the dice and takes the correlating coin from the pile. The first player to reach exactly one dollar wins.
If your child wants a toy, you can work out together how much it will cost, where the money will come from and how long it will take to save that money. But, establishing a budget is just the first step; to make this exercise effective, you have to help them walk through the process. Progress can be charted on the refrigerator this is also a good place for some fun and creativity. Stay At Home Mum has a great downloadable chart.
The chart can, and should be as artistically gorgeous as your child is interested in making it. Count their money regularly and celebrate milestones with stickers or party favors. Remember, if saving will take some time, it’s up to you to help keep them on track.
5. Real-World Modeling
When it’s appropriate, share the details of your finances and financial choices with your kids. Show your kids how you use Coupons.com, and other helpful tips for budgeting. They will remember how you spend and save not only on fun things, but also on daily necessities. Show them by your behavior that it’s never too early to start paying attention to careful money management.