As mum to 6-year-old twins, one of my biggest hopes for my children is that they become good stewards of their finances and appreciate the value of money so they can build good lives for themselves and also give back to help others.
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So, as a way to guide and prepare them to be financially successful adults, I’ve started teaching them about money and finances at this young age.
Some of the specific ways I’m teaching my children about money include:
Teaching them the concept of saving by using a piggy bank. My kids are at the age where they love working on projects and filling up a piggy bank is a great project for them. Their goal is to fill up their bank over time with the coins they get from my husband and me from doing chores around the house. Once the piggy bank is full, they can then split their money into saving or investing, spending and giving. We sit down and create a thoughtful approach of how they would like to save or invest, what they would want to buy and how they would want to give.
Teaching them the concept of budgeting with grocery shopping. My kids love going to the grocery store but sometimes things can get out of hand when they want to buy everything. So, one of the ways I’m teaching them about budgets is by having them help me create a grocery list based on what we need at home that’s tied to a fixed dollar amount of money that we have to spend. It’s fun for them to help fill up the cart in the store and add up the dollar amount based on the prices of items. It also helps them gain perspective as to what we can or cannot afford to buy on that grocery shopping trip based on our budget.
Helping them understand investing by buying fractional stocks in companies they are familiar with. My kids love Barbie and Hot Wheels toys and shopping at Costco. Their favorite sneakers are from brands like Nike and Adidas. And so, based on the products from these companies that they use and love, it’s a great opportunity for me to teach them about investing and ownership. I’m showing them that they can be more just buyers and consumers. They can also be part owners of the companies that create or sell the product they love. So, once a month, we use an app to purchase these stocks at their favorite companies. And over time they are able to track the performance of their stocks in the stock market and at the same time learn key investing concepts that will be really valuable as they get older and start investing on their own.
Teaching them delayed gratification, contentment and gratitude by planning ahead and appreciating what they have. I’m also teaching them delayed gratification and contentment by not buying everything they want now. They are beginning to understand what it means to save over time for something they want to buy. I explain what things cost to them, whenever I shop for them and I involve them in the purchases so they understand the cost of the things they own and why they cannot have everything all at once. They are also learning to appreciate what they have, understanding that not everyone has the same opportunity to have the nice things they have.
Teaching my young children about money is so much fun. It’s exciting to see their eyes light up when they grasp a new financial concept or make a smart financial decision with the small amounts of money they have.
Many parents are actively working through improving their own personal finances and this is always a great opportunity for them to involve their children and teach them about money as they make plans to pay off debt save and invest.
Bola Sokunbi is a Certified Financial Education Instructor (CFEI), finance expert, author, speaker, and founder of Clever Girl Finance, a financial education platform and community for women empowering them to achieve financial wellness and live life on their own terms.