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Teaching Kids About Money: A Call to Action

Teaching Kids About Money

If you take a look at that picture at the top of the post, you’ll see three of the most important people in my life. They mean everything to me, and as any parent can tell you, they feel the same way about their kids. As a parent, on one level, you want to protect them as much as possible from mistakes and the outside world – but let’s be real, that’s not always going to be feasible. You’ll always have situations that are one off type situations, but there are also issues that you need to be building into your children over years to help prepare them for the life they’ll live as adults. One of those situations, and likely one of the most important, is teaching kids about money. I know that teaching kids about money is not the most glamorous topic, or one that we can all relate to, but is one of vital importance if we’re going to stem the tide of financial illiteracy in our society.

Financial Literacy is the Name of the Game

I know for many families money is a taboo topic, heck it was in my family growing up as a child. However, making it taboo is part of the problem and ignorance is no solution. I’ve written about financial literacy in the past, and I see teaching kids about money as a vital part of financial literacy. I’ve shared some of the statistics in the past, and spare you those now, but it’s obvious that we struggle in terms of managing our finances as a society. I see teaching kids about money as a critical means of combating this. It does not have to be difficult, or impossible, but can be simply accomplished through just starting. Begin today to teach your kids about money; by starting early and teaching often you can help build a foundation that they can call back to as they get older.

A Want is Not a Need

As you’re looking more practically at how to teach kids about money, one of the first steps should be to begin to establish the difference between a want and a need. A perfect place to teach that is at the grocery store. It never fails that when we take one of the kids we end up with something in the cart we did not put in there. These are incredibly teachable moments for kids and will only become more complex as they get older. By starting out early on this basic step you’ll help your child learn that just because they want something does not mean they really need the item in question. As an advertiser, I know how companies target children, as early as pre-school, to work on these emotions – and it works. Try driving past the Golden Arches with a four or five year old and see how many requests you get. These opportunities for teaching kids about money happens at every turn, so be on the lookout for them.

A Little Fun can go a Long Way

As any parent will tell you, the attention span of a little one is short at best. By using fun ways to teach kids about money you’re more likely to grab their attention and cause them to enjoy it. Young children are such concrete thinkers that using games or something with tangible aspects will help drive home the purpose of the game. If you’re struggling with how to start, look for things they or your family enjoys. In our family, we love to travel and enjoy going on vacation but it takes money to do that. A simple thing we’ve done is have a big jar in our kitchen that we fill up with spare change. We involve the kids by letting them put the change in, which they get excited about. They get excited, because that change usually results in several hundred dollars that we can use on whatever we want while on vacation. That simple act begins to show them the power of saving and doing it regularly. There are many other games to teach kids about money, or even make some up yourself. The point is teaching kids about money does not have to be boring.

Make Money Real to your Children

I find where many families fail at teaching kids about money is by not making money real to them. If we don’t involve them in family discussions or help them start to grasp money on their own, then how can we hope for them to make wise financial decisions as they get older? In all honesty, we really can’t, unless they’re getting taught financial basics at school. I know this may seem daunting, but I guarantee you that your children will benefit, even if you do make mistakes along the way. Do you struggle with debt? Then involve them, as appropriate, in discussions about how you’re dealing with the debt. Do you have family goals like going on summer vacation or saving money around the house? Then involve them in those discussions and allow them to be active members. Teaching kids about money is a process and when we make it real to them they can start to form their own ideas about money, as well as see the need to handle it seriously.

Teaching Kids About Money is in Act of Love

There are many things Mrs. Frugal Rules and I want for our kids, and most parents will say the same thing. I have come to the belief that teaching kids about money is one of the most loving things parents can do for their children. Think about it for a moment, they’re possibly going to have families of their own when they grow up, which causes me to think about the kind of legacy I want to leave. I want them to not only learn from our mistakes, but I want them to have a clear head when it comes to money so they can make balanced decisions. As a parent, it’s our responsibility (in my opinion at least) to help prepare them for that. To help prepare them to provide for their families, avoid things like spending crazily on credit cards, retirement planning and caring for their families. I would go so far as to say that it’s a moral issue in keeping with the attitude of desiring a better future for them and their families. By allowing them the opportunity to learn about money, make decisions about money and mentally grapple with money they can start that process now. Teaching kids about money is not a one and done event, but it’s a life of learning and growing so they’re well prepared for what’s ahead of them.

Are you currently teaching your kids about money? If you’re not a parent, what ways did your parents teach you about money?

 

Photo courtesy of: Nicole S

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally

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79 Comments

  • I’m not a parent yet, but when I look back at my childhood, my parents encouraged our curiosity. This allowed us to have fund with basic things, like boxes and other items. Now that I am an adult, I am grateful for that. I see my friends kids with mountains of toys, always getting what they want. I think about the things that those kids are “learning” by these actions.
    Jon @ MoneySmartGuides recently posted…The Round Table – August 16, 2013My Profile

    • John says:

      That’s a good point Jon. I think there is a balance to it and find that it’s so much more valuable to not give your kids everything they want. Otherwise, you’re just setting them up for disappointment and potentially worse in the future.

  • I really like the getting them into the groove and helping save along with you. The jar idea works because they are actively trying to fill it up. Since kids really aim for faster they will actually go looking around the house and find lose change and want to do things to earn money. I agree with starting young and finding solutions to deal with that really short attention span. You cant shield them from everything but we try our best. Money wasn’t talked about much in our home growing up and I made sure we talk to our kids because it is so important. They need to learn early the you do make money and it doesn’t grow on trees. We have to go out and EARN is by doing something to get paid. Great post John!
    Thomas | Your Daily Finance recently posted…Selling a Blog for Millions: Interview with Jim Wang of BargaineeringMy Profile

    • John says:

      “They need to learn early the you do make money and it doesn’t grow on trees. We have to go out and EARN is by doing something to get paid.” I could not agree more Thomas. We want to teach our kids about the importance of hard work – it’s so vital to learn and the younger the better!

  • Matt Becker says:

    Great post John. I view this as one of the most important duties of a parent. I think your point about making money real for them is so critical. Involve them in family decisions, but also let them make decisions of their own. When our kids are old enough, we plan on giving them an allowance and letting them spend it on whatever they want. We’ll certainly help them understand the different options, but in the end it will be their decision. I think that giving children real responsibility where they can learn the consequences of their own choices is one of the most powerful tools we have.
    Matt Becker recently posted…The Hidden Costs of Having a BabyMy Profile

    • John says:

      Thanks Matt. I agree about the responsibility aspect, as long as it’s done within reason. That said, they need to learn the balance of making those decisions, as well as dealing with any impacts made because of said decision.

  • I think teaching kids to save for something is probably the biggest money lesson you can teach them when they are growing up. For example, when I was younger I would save up money all year for the arcade and candy at the lake cabin/resort we’d go to each Summer. My cousins saved up for over a year for a specific shop at Disney World they wanted to go to. It’s cool to see how having a goal in mind can motivate a kid to save and they really do learn that if they set money aside today they can get something they really want in the future.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…Dating on a BudgetMy Profile

    • John says:

      I would agree DC, that is a huge lesson for kids to learn. Motivation, especially for something they want, can be a great way to teach them. The kicker is also doing that for things they don’t want but need.

  • Rita P says:

    I fully agree with you. Yes teaching kids about financial management is very necessary as a responsible parent. As you said, we need to leave a legacy which they can carry forward to their offspring. Preparing them well in advance helps them being more responsible when handling finance in future. I wish my parents had taught me earlier and made it easy for me to learn at early age. Anyways never mind I am prepared to teach my kids so they can benefit from the same.
    Rita P recently posted…Save money on electric bill – Energy saving tips for ACMy Profile

  • As a parent myself I can assure you that my kids will be taught everything I know about money. However at 8 and 10, I’ve got to say that it has been very interesting watch how each one responds to my tactics. For example, both receive an allowance every two weeks. My daughter is the saver and is very tight fist-ed when it comes to spending any of her own money. While that’s okay, she could stand to be a little more generous when we go to buy things for other people. My son rarely does his chores, receives less allowance, and blows it the first chance he gets. But he is always the first to offer to buy something for his sister or even us as parents. It will be very interesting to see how each one develops.
    MyMoneyDesign.com recently posted…There Are No Shortcuts to Early Retirement PlanningMy Profile

    • John says:

      I imagine that would be interesting to see play out MMD. I can see similar things in our kids even now and the oldest is not even six yet. I think key in it will be for us to teach to have balance…of course, that’s not always the easiest to achieve.

  • Froogalist says:

    Financial literacy is so important, yet many times it seems that children are left to learn it on their own. This is unfortunate, and puts these kids at a big disadvantage. I am both a father of an almost three-year-old daughter and a grade five teacher. As such, I have two different prespectives.

    As a father, my daughter has a piggy bank we fill with the coins that we get as change while shopping. We make regular deposits of these coins at our local bank branch. She has her own bank account, and she interacts with the teller when we make these deposits. I also encourage her to pay for things when we go shopping. I prefer giving her cash to pay with when it is feasible, because it seems much more tangible to me. She pays, she gets the change. At her age, I feel it appropriate to be teaching her that we exchange money for things and that we get money by working.

    As a teacher, I am amazed at how financially illiterate most children are. Within a backdrop of high levels of personal bankruptcy and soaring government debt levels worldwide, I am concerned about the future for these children. Financial literacy is not an option any more; it is a MUST.

    For a number of years, I have undertaken a stock market challenge with my class. I teach the children the basics of rick tolerance, time horizons, portfolio allocation, dividends, cash flows, stock selection, and performance measurement, and then small groups of students apply this knowledge by selecting portfolios. I tie in computer literacy by having the groups enter their portfolios into a tracking program online. Our daily routine includes viewing our portfolios and researching any news or events that has or may impact stock prices and the underlying profitability of the companies in their portfolios. It is s lot of fun, and the students have really taken a keen interest in basic financial literacy. I really enjoyed reading your post, John. Thanks.
    Froogalist recently posted…Best Times To Buy Stuff On Sale Throughout The YearMy Profile

    • John says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I imagine that you do get to see a difference of things given your specific situation. I agree that financial literacy is a must, especially for the future of our country. I think it needs to happen both at home and in school, but at the very least, it needs to be happening on some level. Kudos to you for involving your class the way you do.

  • Obviously as my son isn’t even able to talk yet I am unable to explain the finer details of money and money management to him, but it is one of the most important things that I want him to learn. I believe that knowing moneys worth makes you appreciate what you have a lot more than someone who has always been given everything by their parents.
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted…Saving money by cooking at homeMy Profile

    • John says:

      Completely understandable Glen, and know that you’re on the right path once your little one gets older. I agree, having everything given to you makes it difficult to learn about how things have a cost associated with them.

  • Great post!

    If my 4 year old had it her way, she’d spend every penny we have trying to win stuffed animals out of the claw game at the grocery store! She really does think that money grows on trees.
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted…Save America’s History: Have an Expensive WeddingMy Profile

  • My parents always taught us that money didn’t grow on trees and we can’t have everything we WANT! Those were valuable life lessons and I agree that its important to parents to talk to kids about money and teach them from a young age.
    MonicaOnMoney recently posted…How To Be Frugal When You’re NotMy Profile

  • I’m not a parent yet, but my parents did a lot to teach me about money at a young age. I think ti was valuable but I don’t think it’s the end all be all. Society does a lot to change our views, too.
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted…Deciding What You Should Major in In CollegeMy Profile

    • John says:

      I don’t think it’s the end all be all either, though I do believe it’s one of the most important things a parent can do for their child. I think relying on society can be a tricky thing at best. There is a lot of good out there, but also a ton of bad.

  • John, you’re so right: teaching your kids about money truly is an act of love! Ironically, we just shared a post today from our oldest about a lesson she had to learn about money being “real”. Yes, I would have LOVED to gone out and bought her the new saddle that she wanted, but in the end, I think the lesson she learned from this experience was much, much more valuable than that new saddle.
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…How to Save Money: Buying Used Instead of NewMy Profile

    • John says:

      I read Maddie’s post and loved it Laurie! I agree, I am sure you would’ve loved to go out and buy her the one she wanted, but the lesson she learned is SO much more valuable in the grand scheme of life.

  • Oh, great picture, BTW. Adorably cute kids :-)
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…How to Save Money: Buying Used Instead of NewMy Profile

  • I’m also not a parent yet. But I think those ways can really help me in the future when it comes to teaching my future kids about money. Great post!
    Mark Ross | Think Rich. Be Free. recently posted…Credit Repair: How Can You Improve Your Credit Score?My Profile

  • these are great points! The younger kids learn about money, the more financially prepared they´ll be!
    I learned about saving from an early age, which has really influenced me and made me do some serious saving throughout the years.
    The Norwegian Girl recently posted…How I stayed at a 4 Stars Hotel in Stockholm for $52/night!My Profile

  • I think it’s our responsibility to teach kids about money. No one else will ever be that invested in their financial education. I think one thing that helps us is telling our daughter that if she wants something we don’t think is necessary that she has to use her own money. Even at 6, when she has to dip into the piggy bank, she is much more careful about what she wants. Let’s hope all the lessons stick for when she is on her own!
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted…Fighting the Urge to Spend MoneyMy Profile

    • John says:

      I couldn’t agree more Kim. We’ve started that lesson with our oldest as well and it does work. It’s funny how “painful” buying something can be when it means us using our own money. :)

  • You have three beautiful kids! And yes, I totally agree with your points – I think that it’s extremely important for us to offer our kids some financial education, help them understand the difference between a want and a need and the true value of money. My parent’s weren’t very good at this since they still are terrible at budgeting and saving, but they did one thing right: had me help them during the summers with their small family business and all my pocket money came from that and no other source. That did help me understand the value of money and also made me understand that throwing money away is a lot easier than making them.
    C. the Romanian recently posted…The Joy of Self Employment: Already Earned Five Times More than in 2012!My Profile

    • John says:

      Thanks! That is a huge lesson to learn. I had a very similar situation with one of my parents and it taught me how I had to work if I wanted something. It’s an invaluable lesson to learn.

  • I love all of these lessons and I’m going to try my hardest to teach them to my daughter when she is older. First we have to finish potty training her though, and we have no idea what we are doing!
    Nick @ ayoungpro.com recently posted…Life as a TwentySomethingMy Profile

    • John says:

      Ha ha, yes potty training is a good thing to focus on. I actually wrote a post a number of months ago on how budgeting is like potty training…it really is!

  • No Waste says:

    I don’t know when it’s too early to talk to my kids about my money, but I do know that I don’t want to find out that it’s too late!

    Better to start sooner!
    No Waste recently posted…Waste Of The WeekMy Profile

  • My son is only 6 weeks old so can’t teach him much about money. Other than telling him not to poop and pee AFTER I just changed his diaper because it is getting expensive, there is not much I can do! =)
    I think you listed some great tips. The best way to teach your children to be finanically responsible is to act that way…parents are their financial role models. I know a parent who tries to teach his daughter to stop wasting money but he is a spendthrift so his lessons go in one ear and out the other.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted…Opportunity Knocks: A Two-Income FamilyMy Profile

    • John says:

      Lol, yea…good luck on that one. :)

      I couldn’t agree more Andrew. Teaching is great, but living it out is a huge way to make it register for them…otherwise you’re just a hypocrite at best.

  • anna says:

    I completely agree that learning about finances starts at the home, especially with every day teachable moments. I wasn’t raised with money being talked about so openly, but I intend on doing so when I hopefully have kids of my own. Great points, John, and love the adorable pics of your kids! No doubt they’ll grow up fiscally responsible. :)
    anna recently posted…Screw the Joneses, They’re Not Worth Going Into Debt Over!My Profile

  • Well, you know I am 110% onboard with you!! It does start in the home with parents. Great suggestions on how to involve the kids. The fear I run into from parents is they make teaching their kids about money into a big to-do that overwhelms them. It doesn’t need to be. Like you said, it’s involving them in the things you already do. Want versus need at the grocery store (glad to know I’m not the only one who finds added things to her cart), sharing why you bought this over that, etc. It’s the everyday things we do and how we choose to spend our money and why. I absolutely agree it is one of the most loving gifts we can give our kids. We do everything we can to give them a better life but not understanding how to use money properly does not set them up for a better life. I do have one disagreement, however, teaching kids about money is DEFINITELY glamorous! LOL! Your kids are adorable, John! :)
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted…Back to School Giving: Learning to Share FreelyMy Profile

    • John says:

      I agree Shannon, it most definitely does not need to be a big to-do, but living life and involving your kids a long the way. There are certainly times for those “big” ideals, but by and large is the day in and day out that’s so vital.

  • This really is one of the most important issues to deal with as a parent. It can help to start them on the right path in life. I love how you say make money real. If you decide not to do something as a family because of what it costs, talk to them about it. If you explain to them the reason they will learn.
    Sean @ One Smart Dollar recently posted…Perkstreet Financial is Shutting Down…What This Means for RewardsMy Profile

    • John says:

      I agree Sean. Making money real to children is such a vital issue and one they need to grasp. That doesn’t happen overnight, but over the course of many years.

  • I am not teaching my son about money, but that is because he is 8 months old! I plan on doing it and teaching him the value of hard work. It can go a long way and I have my parents to thank for teaching me.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted…One of My Biggest Money MistakesMy Profile

    • John says:

      Oh come on Grayson, why not?! ;) Seriously though, that’s a huge lesson for kids to learn and it can serve them well for years to come.

  • Brett @ wstreetstocks says:

    You explained it perfectly. Good to see that you are teaching them this stuff early on.
    Brett @ wstreetstocks recently posted…Are Country ETFs Good Investments?My Profile

  • Great post John! My oldest daughter is 5 and this is definitely something that’s on our minds constantly. Even though we aren’t on a budget and don’t stress about money constantly, we try to communicate to her that there is a finite amount of dollars available for her to buy things and she has to make choices.

    For instance, just yesterday we were in Costco and she desperately wanted another art set. It was $9, which seemed quite expensive to us, and we told her “No.” We had just picked out a math book for her to work on and we said it was too much to purchase both. And that for the $9 she could buy 9 “big Dora coloring books” that she loves from the dollar store. I think it really hit home that “wow, this art set sure isn’t worth 9 big coloring books”, and I felt that was a victory.
    Brad @ RichmondSavers.com recently posted…How a Family of Four with a $100,000 Yearly Income Pays only $6,400 in Federal Income TaxMy Profile

    • John says:

      Thanks Brad! Our oldest is almost six and we have very similar experiences with her. I find that, at her age, she is such a concrete thinker and to be able to correlate how things cost can really begin to establish a good foundation for them to work from.

  • I fully agree with you that teaching our kids about money is very important and that involving them in money decisions from an early age (even play ones) helps. I have been thinking though that just like with many things we do tend to teach them the wrong thing: it seems to me much more important to teach them how to spend rather than how to save.
    maria@moneyprinciple recently posted…How long ago did you visit your bank?My Profile

    • John says:

      That’s a great point Maria! I think both are vital to teach and if you focus on saving without the spending then how can they grasp how and when they should spend and what is a wise use of their funds?

  • I’m not a parent yet but one place my parents did teach me about money was the importance of sales. Because of my mother, I can never pay full price for something, unless of course, the full-price is close to cost, like in the case of shopping at Costco.

    One bad habit I did inherit from my parents and have since shed is the desire to be so cheap as to be pennywise and pound foolish. I’m a believer in buying quality over quantity, and I also know that there are some instances where frugality is not a good idea–my brother suffered serious feet issues in marching band because of the cheap shoes my mom would buy him. It wasn’t until a doctor told her how bad the cheap shoes were for him that he finally got a decent pair of cross-trainers. So for things like my everyday walking/working shoes, I’ll spend a bit of money for quality!
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted…How much is too much stuffMy Profile

    • John says:

      I am the same way Tara. I’d much rather spend more for something that’ll last and give us good value. Saving money is great and all, but if you’re just buying cheap junk then you’re going to get what you pay for.

  • Mackenzie says:

    I wasn’t taught about how to manage money, credit card debt, etc… But I plan on teaching my daughter as she gets older, about money and how to properly use it. I don’t want her to make the mistakes that I did!
    Mackenzie recently posted…Oh, Hello Frugal Decorating!My Profile

    • John says:

      Nor was I Mackenzie, so you’re in good company. ;)

      I feel the same exact way. I see it as motivation to teach our little hooligans to make better decisions.

  • Alexa says:

    I let my kids bring a couple dollars of their own money when we go to the store. They can spend their money on whatever they want as long as they stay in budget. It’s fun for them to ask me how much different items cost and what they can afford. They learn how expensive the stuff they really want is. I think it’s a wake up call for them.
    Alexa recently posted…Hardcore Hustlin’: Financial Preparations Before Making the SwitchMy Profile

    • John says:

      We’ve done something similar with our oldest a couple of times. It’s always interesting to see them plan how they’re going to spend their money and apportion it on what they want.

  • Great points on Financial Literacy! I was always included in money discussion growing up, but even more so I took an active role in my own finances at an early age. I had savings accounts in my name as an toddler. My parents challenged me with responsibility with my money, and always explained the seriousness of it. As a young girl I got to go to the bank to deposit my Christmas money in the bank, my parents helped me/assisted in investing in dividend paying stocks for allowance, as a young teenager I had the responsibility of my own checking account, and my first “student” credit card at 16 yrs old was for gas in my car. By the time I went to college I was prepared. I was shocked how few of my peers had actually participated with banking institutions as college freshman.
    Blair@LifeDollarsandSense recently posted…Thrifty Thursday- The Good, The Bad, & The UglyMy Profile

    • John says:

      That’s awesome Blair and really how it should be on many levels. It shows that you were prepared financially as you grew older. So many are not given that foundation and it’s such a shame.

  • E.M. says:

    I can definitely vouch for the grocery store lessons. I always wanted some special treat there, and my mom would only allow me one “special” thing. She said “no” quite often and I didn’t appreciate that she was just trying to save on costs. I think she could have done a better job communicating their situation with me and talking about debt in general. When my dad lost his job (I was 8), I knew that wasn’t a good thing, but I didn’t know how much it impacted the finances. I’m sure they thought I was too young to understand, and that it would be a burden, but I was burdened anyway considering they fought about money quite a lot. Not a very effective lesson, but I learned a lot in any case =)
    E.M. recently posted…The Pro’s and Con’s of a Basement ApartmentMy Profile

    • John says:

      Your experience sounds somewhat similar to my upbringing E.M. I think my parents thought I was too young as well or would be burdened. It wasn’t very effective either, but I learned as I went.

  • You’re kids are pretty young, and you’ve got the right perspective, John – I’m have no doubt that your kids will be brought up with the very best financial education to ready them for their lives as adults. The bad news is that all you can do is set them up as best you can for success, and hope it sticks. My parents did a great job teaching me how to save, and how to be wise with my money. Then I got to college and chucked it all out the window. :) sometimes we have to learn the lessons ourselves…..
    Travis @DebtChronicles recently posted…Your Perspective On Money Changes….When You’re Paying the BillsMy Profile

    • John says:

      That’s a great point Travis. Our oldest is almost six and we shudder to think that she’ll be college age all too soon. Ultimately, they have to carry the foundation with them. I’d much rather them have that foundation though and know how to implement it. :) That said, I totally agree that there are many lessons they’ll have to learn on their own and hopefully they call back to what we’re teaching them.

  • Troy says:

    There was this one time in my life where my dad gave me a hundred dollars and said that I would have to live off of that for a week. It was quite the experience – I had to manage the money carefully because he literally said that I would starve if I ran out of money.
    That’s the way my dad is – giving his kids shocking but worthwhile experiences.
    Troy recently posted…How to Analyze the Market’s Daily Price ActionMy Profile

  • Great stuff here John and awesome looking family! We are working with our kids very hard to teach them financial responsibility. The cool thing is they can learn this at such a young age. We don’t have to wait until they are teens to start teaching this stuff. My five year old already understands the concepts of saving, spending and giving. And it’s really neat when he gives from the money he has earned.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted…Burn the ObstaclesMy Profile

    • John says:

      Thanks Brian! I agree, it is cool that they can start to learn at such a young age. It does encourage me to continue to fight the good fight and continue to build that foundation.

  • I am trying to teach our kids and it is not easy. I have to find and learn a complete new way of how to explain them some dry boring stuff which for me is easy and clear and for them unknown. Whenever I slip into explaining stuff which they have no clue what I am talking about, you can immediately see it on their faces.
    Dividend investing Martin recently posted…New trade – Ferrellgas Partners LP (FGP) new put sellingMy Profile

    • John says:

      It can be difficult Martin and it can be easy to have it go over their heads. We try and keep it as simple as possible and implement daily things to try and break it down to their level. That said, keep up the good fight – it’s so worth it.

  • Great post. Teaching kids about money is one of the smartest things you can do for them. They already pick up a lot more than we think on our money habits and how we act around money. I notice with my little 2 yr old, she’s like a little sponge. Even on our little shopping outings she’s already getting us to put stuff back. Haha.
    Anthony @ Thrifty Dad recently posted…Ways to uncover your hidden moneyMy Profile

    • John says:

      Thanks Anthony! I could not agree more. They really do pick up a lot more than what we give them credit for. Just wait…as she gets older you’ll be doing more of it. :)

  • Congrats on the three healthy kids!

    I think all of your points are spot on. It is very important for kids to understand that a want is not a need.

    Our son has decided he wants a XBOX 360. We’re making him earn and save the money to pay for every bit of it. It will probably take him another year, but he’ll understand that you have to work hard for the things that you want.
    Derek @ MoneyAhoy.com recently posted…How Much Life Insurance Do You Need?My Profile

    • John says:

      Thanks Derek.

      I completely agree that it’s so vital for them to begin to develop early on that discernment of a want vs. a need is.

      I think that’s a great way to approach the XBOX with your son! Having something to work towards can be a great motivator and a great teaching tool.

  • Squirrelers says:

    As a parent myself, I think that teaching kids about money is something that can be done at all times even when we don’t realize it. We are modeling behavior that they pick up on at all time. If we actually take the time to pair discussions and quick lessons with real life examples in the ordinary course of life, we can go a long way to teaching kids about money.
    Squirrelers recently posted…The Value of “If I Won the Lottery” ThinkingMy Profile

    • John says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Kids can pick up a lot more than we can give them credit for. Teaching is great, but living it out is also vital.

  • I couldn’t agree more. Financial literacy education for children is a must.
    James Molet (SavvyJames) recently posted…Fascinating DocumentariesMy Profile

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