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Teach Your Kids About Money Consistently

One of the best gifts you can give your children is teaching them money skills.  It’s a skill most kids don’t learn in school.  If they do, it’s usually not until high school.  By then, their attitudes and emotions about money are already formed and difficult to reverse.

In the spirit of Credit Union Youth Month, here are some tips to help get you started.

Start by age three or four
If kids are old enough to count, they are old enough to start learning about money.  Experts say to start by age three or four with very basic topics.

Explain what money and show them how it’s used. Let them witness you purchasing things at the store. This helps them connect the dots that money is used to obtain items like food and clothing.

Demonstrate how money is earned
By the time kids enter elementary school they can start understanding the connection between earning money and buying things. Talk to them about your family earns money. Even better – give them opportunities to earn money in an age appropriate way. For younger kids, it can be loading the dishwasher, helping sort laundry or other chores where they can serve as helpers. As they get older, give them more complex tasks to earn money like mowing the lawn, planning a meal every week doing their own laundry. Teach them hourly wages and help them understand how many hours they have to work to buy something specific they want.

Help them develop a habit of saving

Help them open a checking account and encourage them to deposit a percentage of money they earn. That can be money from an allowance, chores or money they receive as gifts. As they get older and work outside the house, teach them to save more.

Be their role model
This is the hardest one of all, but a great reason to refine and improve our own money habits. Lead by example and make responsible decisions with your money.



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