This post comes to us from dad of four Nate Jensen, a former veep at a Fortune 500 financial services company who created two online courses that help kids learn about money, which can be tricky. If you've figured out a system, too, share it!
Why Kids Should Learn About Money -- And How to Start, by Nate Jensen
You are learning to create healthy, independent children who can think for themselves, handle disappointment and face their fears.
A great next step is when kids learn how money works. When kids learn how to make and manage money, they sharpen their decision-making skills, set priorities, and cultivate their generosity. Money actually reveals the character of the person managing it. But there is an obstacle: Four out of five parents are not comfortable teaching their kids about money.
So here is one quick and easy way for your kids to start learning about money: Have them complete a weekly household responsibility that is challenging but appropriate for their age. Provide a small allowance as payment for completing it (4 quarters for little ones, or a few dollars for older). Then have them put some of the money they earned in a jar for giving, some in a second jar for saving, and some in a third jar for spending.
Learning about money is a catalyst for the independence and confidence of kids and teens. It is also a conversation starter for the real world. What kind of work can I do to make some money? What type of skills do I have that others would pay for? Could I work for myself?
Spending their own "hard earned" money starts the process of establishing priorities and delaying gratification. What is most important to spend money on? Why? How do I naturally tend to spend money?
Saving money comes into play as your child thinks ahead: What do I want to do? Where do I want to go? How can I start planning now to make this happen?
Giving money is a great conversation to have as kids realize that they have been blessed. Who would I like to help? How could I use some of my time and money to help others? Cultivating generosity develops character.
If you want your kids to think critically, become independent and understand the value of a dollar, help them learn and earn.
Sounds smart. And Let Growers: how are your kids getting a money education? Love to hear!
Photo from Creative Commons by MIKI Yoshihito.