Teaching Your Kids to Save, Spend, and Share


By Eulalie Scandiuzzi

Imagine how different the economy would be today if every child knew the basic pillars of financial money management, saving, spending and sharing, as commonly as “stop, look and listen.”

Starting a conversation about money with kids can be tricky. But, here are six tips for parents to teach their kids to save, spend and share their allowances—even at a young age.

  1. Start with a visual tool. Most children, beginning at age 4 or 5, are visual learners, so using a hands-on tool like a bank with three compartments—one for saving, spending and sharing each, can better help them learn responsible money management.
  2. Make money a “yes” conversation. Use pictures to help your kids visualize their goals and then prioritize what they are saving for, what they want to spend their money on, and with whom or with what they want to share their money.
  3. Discuss wants vs. needs. As you set goals, identifying objects that represent “wants” and “needs” helps to overcome the desire for instant gratification.
  4. Allow mistakes. Children, like adults, learn from making mistakes. From time to time, allow your child to buy a toy you believe will not be enjoyed very long, for example. Sure, they may be disappointed in a few weeks, but many lessons can be learned from this experience. Encourage them, without guilt, to plan their future purchases, weigh the cost and the benefit of their choices and to think twice next time, even sleep on it.
  5. Encourage philanthropy. Help your children understand that they are part of a larger world community through discussions about sharing their money and/or donating time to causes of their choosing. Volunteering as a family is a great activity for all to participate, learn and grow.
  6. Be a good role model. Make sure your children see you doing the things that you are teaching them. Let them in on your bill paying, savings and investment plans and charitable giving. Discuss your attitudes and philosophies about money and tell them your dreams for how your money can fuel your passions.

For more on Eulalie Scandiuzzi and  tips and hands-on tools for teaching your kids responsible money management, including an allowance how-to, visit www.moonjar.com.

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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