Teach Kids to be Thrifty Spenders

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.

It's easy to forget about money matters when the parents are footing the bill for everything. A five dollar magazine didn't seem so expensive then. But when they have to pay for it themselves, more thought goes into the process. They'll think about whether they really need that magazine or not.

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.

Bring kids grocery shopping. Have children assist in cutting out coupons and making a grocery list. Giving children excessive details on how to shop is not what will help them learn. Instead, while shopping, explain the process of comparing prices in order to find a bargain.

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.

Purchase a coin bank. Some kids think that the best money is the kind that folds, but the kind that jingles will spend just as easily. Empty your purse and pockets of their spare coins and collect them in a jar or piggy bank. It may be a good idea to give each child a piggy bank to collect their loose change. Even let them choose their own bank.

Coins can be found all over the place and they add up fast. After a few months have passed and you've collected change from the sofa cushions and other interesting locations, take your piggy bank to a change counting machine to see how much you have been able to save. Kids can spend some of the money and keep the rest as savings.

Learning how to use money is a trial and error kind of process. The money that you give to your kids or that they earn is their money. As a parent, you can advise them how to act, but they must deal with the good choices and the consequences of poor ones. Lessons learned will speak more than scolding.
Money Management
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