Not long ago I mentioned how important I felt it was for parents to teach their children about money. Knowing how to manage money is one of the important life lessons that every child needs to learn. I know a lot of people that have a hard time dealing with money, and that’s something you never want to see. It causes stress, relationship problems, and could eventually cause financial hardships. The earlier you start teaching your children good money sense the better.
When children are little I think it’s best to start out with a simple method of understanding how money works. So often we pay with credit/debit cards and occasionally a check. We don’t often use cash though. It’s easiest to teach young children money sense by giving them their own money to use. They’ll have to see how much an item that they want is and then they’ll have to look and see if they have enough for that item. Now your little one needs to be able to do some basic math before you can teach them any of this, but the earlier you start the better.
Once they’re old enough, I would say once they have their first real job, it’s a great idea to set up a basic bank account for your children. I got my first job at the beginning of my freshman year in high school. Once my job was set my mother took me to our family bank and helped me get a checking account. You can show your children how to balance a checkbook as many times as you want, but they’ll understand it and remember it better if they are given the chance to do their own.
Being an educator I constantly hear the question, “When am I ever going to use this?” Well, it’s safe to say that you’ll be using money math for the rest of your life. If you can’t balance a check book then you’re in big trouble. On line banking is awesome, I use it all the time, but if you write a check and the bank doesn’t know it yet because it hasn’t been deposited, than it’s not going to be on your online statement. Meaning that what you see online isn’t always the correct amount of money that you have available. Everyone needs to be able to take care of their own books and to be able to figure out how much money they actually have.
At a young age teach your child basic money sense. When they’re old enough help them open their own bank account and teach them how to use it. If you do those things then you’ll be giving your child a wonderful financial foundation for their future.
Have you set up a bank account for your child? At what age do you think they’re ready for it?