Teaching Kids About Money in the Information Age

Jun 12, 2019 by

At what point do you need to start thinking about your child’s financial education? Aside from any allowance they might collect for doing small chores, they typically won’t be able to work or earn any money until they’re in their teens. That doesn’t mean you need to wait to start introducing lessons about money, though, since a study from Brown University concluded that routines and habits in children become consistent after the age of nine. Children as young as three years old can understand basic financial concepts like spending and savings, while money habits can start to take shape as early as seven years old.

Children are like sponges. They absorb the behaviours and attitudes exhibited by their parents and role models. If you experience anxiety about finances then you might sometimes wonder how to quickly get your money between paycheques and how to cover unexpected costs. Financial emergencies and invisible expenses can make it difficult to stay afloat, but knowing that you have options like payday loans from trustworthy direct payday lenders can turn those tricky times into learning opportunities.

Learning from Mistakes

As parents and educators, we don’t like to stand by and watch children struggle to learn new concepts. We are afraid of how failure will hurt them, so we want kids to avoid failure at all costs. However, it’s important that children learn how to learn from failure. Learning from mistakes is how children build resiliency and learn how to recover from setbacks.

Integrate Money Smarts into Their Routine

We’re living in an age where information circulates quickly and easily between humans. It’s likely that the young ones in your life are using smartphone apps and other digital tools for games and to complete schoolwork, so why not integrate financial education apps into their routines?

Fun money apps for kids use the technology they are familiar with to teach them about how to save and manage their allowance and how to even set financial goals. For instance, the app PiggyBot lets kids see how much money they have in their savings account and even lets them take photos of things they want to buy so they can be motivated to save.

Teach Them to Think About What They Buy

One essential financial skill is the ability to differentiate between “needs” and “wants.” It’s one of the first things anyone needs to do in setting up a budget and it helps with making buying decisions at any time. Apps like Save! The Game are designed to teach children how to identify the things that they need and the things that they want.

You can teach this lesson in real-time by giving a little one some cash when you go shopping and allowing them buy something that they want. As they make money spending decisions, ask them if they would really like to buy the thing or if they’d rather save and put money towards something larger.

These questions will get them thinking about how to plan financially. The technology is there to help, so use apps to educate where you can. Never underestimate the importance of real-life applications, though. Teach children about cash and how to handle it and they’ll develop healthy attitudes towards money that will stay with them forever.

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