Young boy counting money with a calculator

How Can I Teach My Kids How to Handle Money?

Tips for Helping Children and Teenagers Manage Their Cash

Wherever life takes your child, you will want them to be successful at whatever path their heart is set at. To help them along the way, it’s important for parents to teach their kids how to properly manage money, no matter if your child is a toddler or a teen. Here are a few tips for helping children and teenagers manage their cash.

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Teaching Young Kids About Finances

Boy putting coins inside of a glass jar

It may seem like teaching young kids about finances is too early. Of course, you can’t expect your child to understand complicated math at such a young age. However, there are ways you can help your child understand the value of money visually and by example. Here are a few things you should try with toddlers.

  • Use a clear jar instead of a piggy bank. This way, your child can watch their money grow as they add to it or take money out of it.
  • If your child wants to buy a toy, help them count the money and take it out of their jar. At the store, have them hand the cash to the cashier.
  • Set an example. If you frequently use a credit or debit card everywhere you go, consider using cash whenever your child is around.

Do you have an older child? Are they not old enough to get a job yet? Here are a few tips for this age group you should try.

  • Give commissions for good work instead of allowances. Allowances can make the child think they will receive that cash no matter how much they help around the house or do good with school. By rewarding them for their effort, it enforces the idea that money is earned and not given.
  • If your child wants to buy an expensive item, remind them that although they may have enough cash, they won’t be able to afford something else they want. Methods like this will help them avoid impulse buying and understand that trade-offs must be made at times.

Teaching Teenagers About the Value of Money

Once your child gets old enough to join the workforce, they will receive more freedom in their money than ever before. With this age group, holding them responsible with their money is very important. Here are a few things you should talk with your teen about.

Teen boy with a laptop and books looking at a piggy bank
  • Help your teen get a job. If they are in high school or college, steer them towards part-time work, as long as it won’t interfere with their schoolwork. If they are no longer in school, assist them in finding a full-time job by offering some job listings and job sites that they should explore.
  • Encourage your teen to open a savings account. This is very important if they suddenly need cash in an emergency situation, such as a job loss or unexpected medical bills.
  • Offer to help your teen set up a simple budget so that they can see how much money they can afford to spend on certain things.
  • Teach them contentment. Your teen doesn’t need to have the nicest car or own the most expensive items on the block.

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