Last month was financial literacy month in the United States.
Did you know that April even had a "National Teach Children To Save Day"? Wow! Really?
Although there wasn't much hoopla about it, I think it was a great ideas to call attention to a much needed life skill. In fact, if Americans were better at it, a lot of people wouldn't be in the mess they are in today. In my opinion, every day should be "teach our kids about saving" day!
The reality is that teaching our children to save is one life skill that they can't afford not to learn! It should be something that we, as parents, do from the moment the child can begin to communicate and ask for things.
So how can you make every day a "teach your child how to save" day? Use these six tips to get you started.
Teach the Difference Between Need and Want
Needs always come first! A want is something you may or may not get. If you start teaching them at a young age to distinguish between the two, that will definitely help them later in their adult life. The basic skill of learning and accepting delayed gratification for something they want is invaluable!
Teach the Importance of Saving and Budgeting
You'll want to make sure you show what can happen if they don't save for life's bumps in the road! Teaching about consequences for their actions applies to more than just money. It's a life skill your child can't become a responsible adult without it!
Teach by Example
You are your child's greatest teacher! Show them how you are a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, living within your means and being a conscious spender, as well as an active saver. Studies have shown that children tend to follow the same cycle of their parents financial habits.
Talk Openly About Money
Let's face it -- most of us don't like to talk about money! But if you want your child to have a healthy relationship with money, they need to understand how money works! Talk to your child about your money values. Share your experiences both good and bad. Encourage them to ask you questions and be prepared to answer them honestly, even the tough ones.
Have Your Child Open a Bank Account
Let it be their own account they are responsible for. Let them make the deposits and decide what to save and spend their money on. You can have another account for their long-term savings or college. But this should be an account they have control over. It's important that they learn how to do this now!
Allow Them to Make Mistakes
Mistakes are not failures -- they are the way we learn. When your kids make a mistake, talk about it! The only way to learn how to handle money is to handle it! It's better they make small money mistakes now then really big ones later!
Have you used these tips? Do you have one to add to the mix? Shout it out!
Lisa Laughton McCarthy is a mom with a passion! As the founder of MoneySmartKidz and author of "The Money Tree," Lisa, takes delight in finding fun creative ways to help show young children the value of financial independence! Her first book "The Money Tree," with its eye-catching illustrations, is the answer to every parent who wants to give their child a head start on the road to financial independence.
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