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4 Strategies for Teaching Your Kids About Personal Finance and Money Management

Children can begin learning about money management and financial responsibility from a young age. Even toddlers can be taught to save pennies in a piggy bank. But more meaningful learning will come as children get older and reach their preteen or teenage years. Here are four tips for teaching your kids about personal finance to help them avoid major money mistakes.

Allowance

School-age children can begin to be accountable for household chores like making their bed and helping with the dishes. Some parents simply withhold pleasures like playtime or video games until the work is done. Other parents give their children an allowance that can be spent on whatever the child wants or saved in part for long-term spending. 

In some families, children are taught to set aside a part or percentage of their allowance to donate to charity or to help those in need. Learning to be responsible prepares them for a lifetime of work as they later become self-supporting.

Summer Jobs

As kids get older, they are eager to join the outside world in a variety of ways, including by getting a part-time job. Working over the summers on a farm or helping an older person with yardwork teaches kids about other ways of life as well as new skills they might someday need to use in their own lives. Income earned from a job can instill confidence and give them the opportunity to manage their money with parental guidance. This experience offers an exciting way to prepare kids for adulthood.

Budgeting

Learning how to budget money is challenging for everyone, not just kids. But learning from an early age helps youth to understand and appreciate the value of money and learn how to use it wisely. 

Certain banks and financial institutions offer a free checking account for kids when they reach the preteen years or become teenagers. An introductory checking account shows kids what their money looks like overall and helps to teach them how to balance earning, spending, and saving.

Savings

Many families teach their kids to save part of their earnings in a savings account. This can be a short-term investment-type account for something the child wants relatively soon, like a bicycle or a summer camp experience. As kids become teens, they can learn how to contribute to a savings account for their college tuition, a car, or other adult-type expenses.

Teach your children the value of money as soon as they are old enough to understand basic concepts. Gradually expand their money management skills as they learn how to earn money and use it wisely.

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