As a father, I hope to set a good financial example for my kids. Imparting daily lessons about money, spending, and saving is a huge part of parenting.
Recently, I stumbled across a 2014 article, “6 Fatherhood Tips for Parenting Money-Smart Kids,” at Fatherhood.gov, the website for the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse. The advice included resources and tips for teaching kids about the value of money and getting them in the habit of making smart money decisions at an early age. Here, are some of my favorite tidbits.
Cultivating a Healthy Money Awareness
Talk about money in everyday conversations, but these discussions don’t need to be heavy or loaded in a “let me sit you down and talk to you about money, kid” kind of way. As you go about routine family activities, like preparing a grocery list or planning out which gifts to buy for whom around the holidays, you can get your kids engaged and involved in the process. Fatherhood.gov cites a recommendation from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) which suggests you “take your child along on shopping trips and discuss what makes some items ‘too expensive” and others “good buys.”
Banking on the Piggy Bank
Making smart money decisions often involves having a savings strategy. Piggy banks are an age-old way to teach kids about planning ahead for a purchase that they really desire. But Fatherhood.gov also suggests that “when you’re talking about planning, as kids grow older they need to know that saving is not just about putting money away into a sock. There are several ways to save that can help kids see that where they put their money is just as important as how much they put away.” Kids are often old enough to open a small savings account around age eight, and the savings account is a great vehicle to teach them about banking, interest, and long-term financial planning.