30 Ways To Teach Money To Your Children

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One of the most important things you can teach your child is how to manage your money.  Money will affect every aspect of their lives.

Don’t keep them in the dark about such important things. Teach them money skills.

How do you teach money to kids without them getting bored? Well, there are different ways you can go about it. I have 30 ways listed below loosely organized from youngest to oldest.

Let them play with change

Playing with change is a good way for children to familiarize themselves with money. They can sort it by size or by pictures.  And you can show them how much each piece of money is worth. 

Get them comfortable dealing with money. As well as knowing the value of the money.

Use money to teach your child math

A sneaky way to get your child to learn about money is to use it doing math. Using money can help your child understand math by putting it into the physical world.

And while their focus on learning math they are getting better at dealing with money.

If you don’t want to give them real money you can get fake money that looks real. Here is real looking Canadian money and real looking US money.

Let your child play store with money

Most children enjoy playing store. Make it educational by giving them money to play with. Let them be the storekeeper and go and buy their merchandise.

It doesn’t have to be complicated. Get them to sell groceries from the pantry. Or their toys.

Make it more real by giving them a cash register to use.

Play games that involve money

Learning about money doesn’t have to be a serious endeavour. There are lots of games that can teach you about money. Games like life and monopoly as well as more business theme games like the construction game.

If there is money in a game they are probably learning something about money while playing with it. Even if they don’t realize it at the time.

Check out my post about games that taught me about money.

Teach kids how to buy things

The next time you are buying something for your child let them purchase it. Even if they use your money it good for them to buy it.

It helps them understand how much things cost. And it makes them more aware of the trade-off that happening.

Discuss trade-offs you need to make

Someone once said you can afford anything but not everything. This is true and its important to understand this.

If your child wants to buy an expensive toy he can. All he needs to do is save all their money. And this might mean he can’t buy any candy which he likes.

Kids need to learn the trade-offs that come with money.

Talk about prices when you shop

If you don’t pay attention it hard to know what things cost. And if you don’t know what things cost you can end up paying extra.

Talk about prices with your kids. This will help them become more aware of what things cost.

It will also help them to develop a baseline on what things should cost.

Give your child a way to get money

It hard to learn about money if you don’t have any. Give your kids opportunities to get some money.

Whether it giving them an allowance or paying them for extra chores help them find something. If you can’t afford to pay your child yourself see if there any work they could do close to home.

Let your children bid on odd jobs

This is something my parents started after hearing about it in cheaper by the dozen. If we saw a job that needs doing or there was a seasonal job that need doing we were allowed to bid on it.

My parents had us write up a contract outline what we doing and for what price. We set the price with the realization that they didn’t have to accept our proposal. And if they didn’t pay us on time we could send them bills.

It might seem like a silly thing to do but it taught me a lot.

Show them how to spot money making opportunities.

At some point, your children should start making money outside of the household. It might be mowing lawns or getting a part-time job.

Help them look for money making opportunities. Once you start looking you’ll see lots of opportunities to make money.

Teach them the basic of business

Kids are more entrepreneurial than we think. If given a chance most kids would gladly start a small business if it was to make them money. Take advantage of this spirit and teach them the basics of business.

What the difference between profit and revenue. Talk about how different kinds of business make money in different ways. You don’t need to know everything about business a broad overview would be good.

Have them separate their money into giving, spending and saving

A big part of money management is being able to have money and not spend it. It best to start them young on this. Show them how to separate their money into these three categories.

You can come up with a formula you want to make it easier. Or let your child set their own goals.

Open a bank account for your child

It’s good for children to have their own bank account. It makes them feel all grown up. Bank accounts make it easier for them to save money.

It also is a good way to ease into doing your own banking. Most children accounts are free so there no reason not too.

Teach them how banks work

Banking can be complicated. There is a lot about banks that most people don’t understand especially children.

Talk about how banks make money. What the advantages of using a bank.

Show them how an ATM works

ATM’s can seem like magic money machines. All you have to do is put in your card and it will spit out money.

The money is spitting out is cash you withdrew from your bank account. That idea behind ATM is simple it makes it easier to deposit and withdraw money.

Get them a debit card

If your child is an appropriate get them their own debit card. Debit cards make spending easier and banking more accessible. Be careful to teach them the limits on the card as well as how it works.

Get them to understand that having a card doesn’t mean you have unlimited money. It just makes your money easier to access.

Teach them about economics

Economics is a higher overview of money than the other things on this list. Everyone should know something about economics. For the simple fact, it shapes the world we live in.

Economics shape governments and policy. It silly to ignore something as big as that.

Show them what taxes are

If you make money you are paying taxes. But do you know how taxes work? What happens to the money you give to your governments. Even how much money you are paying in taxes.

And if you’re paying taxes look for taxes break you may be eligible for. Building a basic understanding of taxes can be hard work but it well worth your time.

How to start investing

Investing is often seen in vague and mysterious terms. If you are looking to invest for the first time you are bombarded with options. Do you want real estate of mutual funds? Do you want an advisor or save money by doing it yourself?

Most people are aware they should invest but they don’t know how. Don’t let your child become that person. Show them how to investing properly.

Show them how credit cards work

Talk to your children about credit cards. It important. At some point in their life, they will be offered a credit card. And don’t rely on the credit card companies to show them how it works. All they care about is that you make minimum payments.

Teach them how credit cards work. The interest rates on them and how they vary. Show them how to handle credit responsibly.

Teach them what debt is

This might seem like a duh thing but it important to talk about debt. Even if you hope that your child will never have to go into you should still talk about it.

Teach them what is “good” debt and what is “bad” debt. Show them how interest works and how to calculate how much interest you are paying over the term of your loan. Debt is more than minimum payments.

How to budget

Everyone should know to budget. Even if they don’t budget for the rest of their life it a good skill to have.

It forces you to be intentional about where your money is going. Budgets help you save. And if you are in a tough place financially you need a budget.

Here a post that shows you how to budget.

Have them budget for a realistic adulthood

It can be shocking to find out how expensive life is. As a child and teenager, you grow up a bit oblivious of this. It easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your standard of living will only go up.

Doing this makes them aware of how many commitments there are with adulthood. And maybe it will make them lower their expectations a bit.

Get them to do an online poverty simulator

Kids are naturally sheltered and for the most part that is a good thing. But as they get older it is important to introduce them to different viewpoints. Poverty is a complex subject. I don’t think a simulator can show every nuance of that but it can make you more aware.

Surprisingly enough the poverty can’t be fixed by giving up lattes. Two simulators I would recommend are Make The Month and Spent

Teach them how to take full advantage of sales

If you are patient you will rarely ever have to pay full price for an item. Almost everything comes on sale at some point. To get everything at a discount pay attention to sales.

Learn which ones will give you the best discounts. Teach them how to plan ahead so they can wait for a sale. And make sure they know when not to buy something even if it on sale.

Even something as simple as installing E-Bates browser extension will help them save money without trying.

Teach them how to negotiate

As children, we are taught to not question authority. So is it such a surprise most people aren’t comfortable negotiating. Teaching your child to negotiate can help earn more money as well as save more.

Especially if you have girls teach them how to negotiate. Women are worse than men when it comes to negotiating. And when they do they are perceived as more aggressive and bossier. That needs to change and one of the ones we can do that is by making negotiating normal.

Show them how to give money

Now more than ever there are people asking for donations. And it is important to give. The trick is finding out what worth giving money too and what a scam.

Teach your child how to research organizations. How to find out where the money goes. And let them give base off their values.

Put them in charge of purchasing their own clothes

Every teenager should buy their own clothes. It teaches them how to shop. How to care for their clothes. They learn how to make the money last and ways to make do or fin cheaper clothes.

It’s easy enough to do give them a monthly clothing allowance.

Teach them how to make financial plans

Most people fail to make long term financial plans. Sure they might have other goals that involve money. But it rare to find plans only about money. This is such a shame because financial planning can be extremely helpful.

You can make a plan by yourself. And personally, my five year financial plan has helped me prioritize what I want from life.

Talk to them about retirement

It might seem weird to sit down and talk to your child about retirement. After all, they barely started making money and you already want them to think about retiring.

The thing with retirement is the early you start saving the less you have to save. Give your child a headstart and talk to them about retirement.

Hopefully, this list gives you some ideas about how to teach money management to children. And remember this list is just a starting point.

Be willing to talk about money with your children. Money management is something everyone should learn.

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30 ways to teach money your kids