One of the most important things that everyone needs to know is how to manage money. It’s the one thing that can either make or break you in life. If you are not great at managing your money, you will most likely find yourself in debt all of your life, along with the bad credit ratings this can bring you. As this is such an important skill to master, it is never too soon to start teaching your children the value of money managing skills.
This actually sounds a lot harder than it is. Most of the lessons work in naturally with other day to day things. However, there are a few special things that can be taught outside of these daily activities. Start out with a piggy bank for younger children. When Grandma and Grandpa give them money for their birthdays, have your children put some of this in their banks to save. They can be given a small amount of money to spend when you take them shopping. This is a lesson in saving money for them.
Older children, such as 12 – 15 year olds, can be shown how to do grocery shopping. Give them a part of your shopping list, or let them help make the list. When you go shopping, tell them the amount of money they have to spend on the items contained on their lists. Then go your separate ways in the store. Set a meeting point in the store to check the items before going to the cashier. You might just be surprised at how well your child will do with this project. It might not be perfect the first time or even the first 5 times. But you will see that, eventually, your child will become more adept at matching the items on the list to the allotted amount of money to spend.
Paying monthly bills is something that you can start teaching your older children about from 15 – 18 years old. Let them sit down with you when you are paying them. For example, show them the value of cutting off lights that aren’t needed by letting them see the electricity bill. They are going to be amazed at how much it can cost to keep a household going. This may also be a great time to go over some ways that the costs can be kept to a minimum.
Another thing you can teach is how to do important tasks such as balancing a checkbook. Most banks will offer savings accounts and special checking accounts for 16 year olds. This is a great way to teach children how to keep track of what they are spending, and will come in quite handy for years to come.