Everyone needs to understand about money: where it comes from, how to spend it wisely, and how to save and invest for the future. Too many parents don't take time to teach their children about the value of money, and unfortunately, many of those children grow up to be adults who struggle with money management skills.
What age should parents begin educating their children about money? Financial experts agree that it's never too early. The more children learn about money, the more they will be able to make wise financial decisions as they grow older.
Parents can begin teaching young children how to count money. Practice playing simple games that children will enjoy. For example, place a nickel on the left side of the table, and on the right side, place five pennies. Children are very quick to learn new games, and if you continue this strategy using dimes, quarters, half dollars, etc., before you know it, they will have mastered the art of not only counting money, but understanding its value as well.
Next, you can teach the value of saving. Once they learn that saving is a good idea and that it is something they should always do, their financial future will be brighter. Let's say your child wants a new bicycle. You can teach them to save part of their allowance for that bike, while still keeping some money available for ice cream, or for going to the movies with their friends. That way they will begin to understand the value of both short-term saving and long-term saving.
It's never too early, also, to teach your child different ways to make money. For example, they can mow lawns, rake leaves, shovel snow, clean out the garage or basement, etc. Sit down with your child and brainstorm with them on some ways they would like to earn money. You'll be surprised and delighted at the effort they will begin making.
Help your children chart their financial course in life. Teach them basic money management skills and their future will be brighter.
See also: Home Budgeting, and Saving Money