“Money doesn’t grow on trees!” You probably heard your parents use that line more than once, and it’s likely you’ve passed the same hard truth onto your children. But don’t stop there.
If you want your children to become smart money managers, teaching them important financial lessons should begin as early as possible and continue into young adulthood. From the National PTA, here are five suggestions for teaching kids about money and instilling good financial sense early on.
Once your children have a firm grasp on collecting money in their piggy bank, why not teach them how to save with coupons? Let them search Coupons.com for coupon codes for their favorite stores and toys like Toys R Us, Justice, Target, and Walmart!
1. Introduce them early
As soon as children can count, introduce them to money. Teach them the value of each coin by playing games with them. Repetition will help them remember.
Little ones will enjoy decorating a piggy bank of their own, and these piggy bank craft ideas can help inspire them to fill up their piggies with coins!
2. Teach needs vs. wants
Teach children the difference between needs and wants (for example, food for dinner vs. a new video game) every chance you get. This will prepare them early on to distinguish the two and help them make good spending decisions in the future.
3. Let them set goals
Setting goals is fundamental to learn the importance of saving. Nearly every toy, game, or item of clothing that children ask for can become the object of a goal-setting session. Remember: Delayed gratification won’t hurt them.
4. Pay their allowance in ones
When giving children an allowance, pay them in denominations that encourage saving. If they get $5 a week, give them five $1 bills and require them to save $1 in a jar or piggy bank.
5. Use shopping trips to teach budgeting
Use regular shopping trips to teach children the value of money. Grocery shopping is the perfect time to show kids how to spend according to a budget and get more for their money with coupons and in-store promotions.
4 Apps That Teach Kids About Money
Take advantage of real-life, everyday situations to teach your kids about finances. In the long run, they’ll develop a good sense about managing their dollars. If you need a little digital help, here are some apps that can lend some support:
1. Savings Spree: $5.99 (Ages 7+)
This app teaches the concepts of saving, spending, donating, and investing. Money Savvy Pig hosts players through six rounds of a game show. Each round requires kids to read through text that explains financial concepts like investments and saving for short-term and long-term goals. Players are rewarded with dollars, and the winner has the biggest nest egg at the end.
2. Kids Money: Free (Ages 5+)
Fairly simple, this app allows kids to input the cost of the item they’re saving for (like a bike or iPad), the amount of pocket money and gift money available (from birthdays or holidays), and then it calculates how much the child needs to save and how long it will take. This is a good app to bring with you on shopping excursions when kids are tempted by everything they see!
3. Learning Gems – My Piggy Bank LITE: Free (Preschool – 1st grade)
Teach kids the value of money and how to count it with this fun app. It has two levels of play, but you can preview all 16 available in the full version. Voiceovers allow younger children to learn regardless of their reading ability. The app also teaches both the front and back of U.S. coins and dollar bills.
4. Allowance & Chores Bot: $2.99 (All ages)
Track your children’s chores and set up daily, weekly, or monthly allowances for all of them in this app. It syncs across all the devices in your family, and it’s a great way for kids to see how much money they’ve saved, earned, and spent. They can also see when they have chores to do, mark them as done, and watch their savings grow with the Allowance Graph. This app gives you everything you need to manage your kids’ allowances and chores all in one spot.