Training Kids to Use Their Money Wisely

By: Williamblake
Teaching kids is just plain easier than teaching adults and this principle definitely applies to financial matters. Getting children in the habit of saving as opposed to over spending can and should start early in their lives. Consider the follow suggestions on how it can be accomplished most effectively:

Play games that involve the use of money. Games like Monopoly that force players to make financial decisions are a great way for kids to learn to use real money. Decisions made by kids like negotiating prices and determining when it is best to buy or sell a property make children think about both the future and the present effects this will have on their cash reserves.

When Mom and Dad buy everything, children often don't even consider the expense involved in buying the things they want. But if the child has to use their own money to make a purchase, they are sure to think more seriously about how much they really want to part with their money.

Instead of allowing children to become obsessed with wearing expensive clothing of some popular brand name, take kids clothes shopping at consignment shops and inexpensive department stores like Target or Wal-Mart. Talk to them about how to evaluate and compare the prices of clothes as meander through the shopping racks. It would be wise to explain that there really is no problem with owning some name brand clothing, but filling your entire wardrobe with it is extremely and expensive and not necessary.

Take your kids to the grocery store with you. Let them help you make out the grocery list and clip the coupons. As you bargain shop, tell the kids what you are doing. You don't have to go into great detail; just give them an overview of the process.

Practice what you preach. Children learn by observing adults, and you will be giving your kids a very bad example to follow if you make impulsive purchases every time you have some extra cash. Control your spending and stick to your budget so that your children learn to do the same.

Get a piggy bank. Coins are money too and children can learn to save up all their loose change in a piggy bank. Kids can pick out a coin bank that they like and start saving their money.

You'll be surprised how quickly the coins will collect. I find coins on the floor and in the couch cushions all the time. Every three months or so, take a trip to the coin machine in the grocery store and find out how much you have saved. The kids can put a portion of their money away for savings and keep the rest to use as they wish.

We learn how to handle money through a series of trials and errors, and kids have to learn too. You can help them to do so successfully by helping them to know how to make good financial decisions and allowing them to suffer the occasional bad consequences of bad choices.
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