How many times as a young adult or even now have you said: “I wish somebody would have told me (insert money topic)”? It’s imperative that parents start and consistently discuss financial literacy with their children, as only 17 states require a personal finance in High School! This leaves a significant amount of years of children not being taught financial basics in the classroom.
Parents often feel overwhelmed at the thought of teaching their children financial literacy due to their own personal financial struggles. But all of one’s personal financial struggles can be turned into a teaching moment. For example, a parent may feel as if they can’t bring themselves to save a portion of their income how can they possibly drive home the point to a young child. I always encourage parents to dig deep into what is preventing them from saving or reaching any financial goal. Once parents can identify what is holding them back, there will be more confidence in teaching financial literacy to their children. It’s also important to remember even if you’re not actively teaching financial literacy you’re modeling your financial behaviors on a daily basis. Be mindful of how you talk about money, negative conations surrounding money can be debilitating to you and your children. Studies have shown when people say things like: “Rich people are Evil”, “Money doesn’t grow on trees” subconsciously prevents people from earning additional income!
Below are 4 activities that will surely draw financial inspiration for you as well as your children!
When you hear the phrase “can you buy this”, then it’s time to explain to your children how money is earned. Create tasks around the house that will allow your children to make money. You may recall from your childhood earning an allowance from completing chores: such as cleaning up your bedroom or family room. But income-earning tasks don’t have to center around cleaning. Make earning income fun by assigning one day a week that your kids have to assist with dinner meal prep! Also, explore options for generating income from your children’s talent or passion.
Parent Note: While exploring your child’s talent to draw on their kidpreneur spirit, think about ways you can earn additional income. The extra income should go to savings and or investing.
Saving money enables one to accomplish goals. Have your children come up with a short-term and long-term savings goal.
- A short-term savings goal timeframe should be 6-8 weeks. If your child desires a video game that costs $20 and their earnings are $5 a week; this would be considered a 6-8 week goal because every dollar made would not be saved weekly.
- A long-term savings goal timeframe should be nine weeks or more. If the long-term savings goal is an expensive item, consider matching the amount saved per week dollar for dollar.
Parent Note: Create a short-term (90 day) and long-term (greater than 90 days) savings goal for yourself! If you don’t set a goal it may be hard to see the importance of saving!
Financial literacy doesn’t stop at saving! Teaching children how to make their money grow is imperative. Monopoly is one of the best ways to introduce the investing concept to children.
- Consider getting Monopoly Jr. to teach children 5 – 8 about investing and Monopoly for children ages 8 and up. After playing the game, ask your children the objective of the game. More than likely they will say the objective was to not go bankrupt or get the most property or money.
- Follow-up by asking: Do you think people in real life can play monopoly by buying a lot of homes and renting them out?
- Most children have not considered people playing Monopoly in real life. It’s important to remind your children that Monopoly represents a game of real-estate investing. In fact, if you all watch Shark Tank, Barbara Cocoran became a millionaire by playing real-life monopoly!
Parent Note: Investing can be a bit intimidating because there are so many options. Start listening or watching quick 10-minute investing videos on YouTube to improve your confidence!
There are more things to do with money other than spending and saving. Encourage your children to give a portion of their earnings to a charity or church. Discuss social causes with your children to determine what peaks their interest. Help identify a charity or church that they can donate to that will support this cause.
Hopefully, these activities will be the start of your family beginning a new financial legacy!
Tasha Danielle, CPA, founded Financial Garden during her journey of eliminating nearly $80k of debt before the age of 30. Tasha’s grandmother taught her about finances at an early age and this influenced her to be a financially responsible millennial. However, it became apparent that not all of her peers were exposed to money lessons at a young age and most of them struggled financially. After working with youth for several years, she realized their lack of financial literacy. Tasha decided to plant seeds of financial literacy at every age by formally founding Financial Garden in 2014.
Tasha has nearly a decade of corporate finance and accounting experience with Fortune 100 and 500 companies. She has also authored “Amina’s Bracelets: A Kidpreneur Story” to plant the seed of entrepreneurship in young children. The book is available on Amazon!