There’s no question. Parents definitely have a lot on their plate, especially when it comes to providing their children with the kind of information that they need in order to be responsible and accountable adults. While it is extremely important to make sure that kids get a good education, that they are kind and courteous to others and that they are willing to do what they can to help their community (in their own special and age appropriate ways), it definitely should not go without saying that for a child to be able to thrive as a teenager and young adult, they need to have a good understanding about money.

If you agree, but you’re not sure about which basic concepts you should start instilling into your son or daughter, we have five really good ones for you below:

Play educational games. The entire reason why educational games were invented was so that children would see learning from an enjoyable place. Luckily, there are all kinds of games about money that are both online at websites like Math Nook and Practical Money Skills as well as board games such as Life and Monopoly (for once they get older).

Let them earn some income. You work every day so that you can earn a living; the sooner that a child is introduced to this concept, the better off that they will be. So, think about giving them some chores around the house (outside of the ones that they may currently have) that can earn them some money. It will teach them to respect money and also appreciate the work that you do to provide for them.

Show them how to save. If you are a financially savvy person, then there’s a pretty good chance that you already have a savings account for your child. However, it’s good to also have some kind of saving system for them as well. It can start off with something as simple as a piggy bank. Or, if they are older, you can have them open up their own savings account at a local bank. Just make sure that when you do that, they go along with you so that the bank associate can explain to them (on their level) the importance of having a bank account.

Have them sit with you sometimes. When you’re a child, you don’t tend to put much thought into where provision comes from. You open up the refrigerator and food is there. You open up your closet and “miraculously”, clothes are inside of it. A good reality check for children is to sit down with you while you’re doing your bills. It can help them to see how important it is to budget and during tax season, they might even be able to read the numbers off of your income tax calculator. If they feel involved, they may even want to sit with you on more than one occasion.

Tell them “no” sometimes. One of the best ways for someone to learn the difference between what they want and what they need is for them to not always be given everything that they ask for all of the time. You definitely want your child to be well-cared for, but that is not simultaneous with them being spoiled. It’s OK to tell them “no” or “wait” to something that they ask for sometimes. None of us always get everything we want just because we want it. The sooner they learn that, the easier life, for them, will be.

Photo credit: youtolife.co.za

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