When to Start Teaching Your Children About Money

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It’s a question every parent thinks about at some point. When should I start educating my children about money and finances? Being that it’s a hot topic even between married couples some just try to avoid it at all cost. But teaching our children about money and financial responsibility will pave the way for a sturdy future. We live in a country with globs of economic chaos. People borrow and spend money they don’t have and when they can’t pay back the debt the slate is “wiped clean” for them. If you teach our children the right way to handle this type of spending and saving we could reshape not only their personal lives but the national crisis.

But Rome wasn’t built in a day. 😉

You can start teaching your children about money as early as Preschool. But remember that you should educate yourself as much as possible about it so that you aren’t giving your child “bad” information. Read up on some of the most important talking points so that you cover all of it. If you aren’t sure where to start there are some amazing resources online. A new one that I’ve just discovered is offered by Sesame Street. It’s called For Me, For You, For Later and you can download it and print it out.

Just remember that there is no wrong time to start. As long as you start! Our children need guidance to learn about saving for their future. I say if they start saving in Preschool they’ll be ready to spend it on College!

Information contributed by Genworth Financial

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  1. I have such a difficult time teaching kids about money. My oldest is getting better about saving vs spending and my middle child is a BIG saver. The lil one is four and just wants to spend spend spend!

  2. I haven’t really tackled that topic yet, other than to preach to my children the dangers of credit cards and unnecessary loans. They have the Dave Ramsey kid books and that has made a different for them, but I have not really gone out of my way. I really need to do this.

  3. My daughter is only 3 but I’m thinking I need to start soon about teaching my daughter about money. She gets a case of the gimmies (ala Berenstain Bears) whenever we’re out and I need to teach her she needs to earn her money if there’s somethign she wants to buy.

  4. We started giving an allowance at the age of 5. Complete with having to save 10% of it for savings. He is learning that everything cost money and we can’t always afford things we want. Not only that but I have noticed it really makes him think about what he wants to buy.

  5. We talked to my daughter recently about college expense. She wants to go to a really expensive school, so she will have to work hard to get scholarships! We will help, of course, but it is a LOT of money!

  6. We have already begun to hopefully steer our children in the right direction by making sure that they put some of their money they earn or are gifted into their own savings accounts, rather then spending it all.

  7. Money rally is a hot button topic. I recently read that parents should start carrying actual money around when teaching their kids about money so that the kids can understand the concept of how it all works. Thanks for the great ideas!

  8. We’ve been working on this. They are constantly bugging me about getting more Legos so now they have to work with Daddy to earn money for them. Not sure if they’re getting it, but it’s a start.

  9. My three year old already gets 3 “Shane Dollars” {his name} every week to trade in for apps for the iPad- it wasn’t so much to teach him about money, but that we can’t have an unlimited supply of new things since he was asking for apps several times a day. He gets it as much as a three year old can!

  10. We started from day one. Whenever our daughter got money and wanted to spend it we made her ask herself if that was what she really wanted. She made a few ‘poor’ decisions with her money on toys that were silly or not worth the cost, and she learned from those choices. Now as a teenager we are fortunate to homeschool and as part of Home Ec. we taught her how credit cards work, the cost of owning a home and a vehicle (not just payments, but maintenance, insurance, gas, etc.). How to budget. We feel she’s ready to go out into the world when she turns 18 next year – and not get saddled with debt while doing it.

  11. These are really great tips. I know that I will be teaching my son early on about the importance of money management.


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Meghan Cooper is a writer, content creator, movie critic, and geek living in Atlanta, Ga. She loves movies, traveling, and lots of coffee. Member of the Southeastern Film Critics Association, Georgia Film Critics Association, and Atlanta Film Critics Circle.

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