What are you doing to raise financially literate kids?
There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind that we’re living in tough economic times these days. That means that understanding the value of a dollar, being able to manage credit responsibly, and being capable of making sound financial decisions overall is more important than ever before. It also means that we should be thinking as parents about how to teach our children good money management sooner rather than later.
If you have children age 12 and under and you haven’t yet begun to teach them how to be financially literate, there’s no time like the present to begin. Studies show that the younger children are taught how to properly and responsibly deal with money, the more likely they are to grow up to have exemplary habits in regards to their own treatment of earnings and credit as they grow older. Let’s take a closer look at what you can do as a parent to help your children grow up with all the right values.
Make Money Management Part of Everyday Life
The best place to start with your child’s financial literacy is by simply opening the lines of communication when it comes to money. Make it a point to talk to your child about money and don’t just stop at dollars and cents either. Also make sure you explain concepts like credit, credit cards, debt, bankruptcy, and savings to your children. Be sure they understand how important it is to save for a rainy day and use credit responsibly.
It’s also incredibly important to make sure your child understands where money comes from. When they see you swipe a credit card at the grocery store or withdraw money from the ATM, it’s all too easy for young children especially to get the impression that money is a limitless, free resource. Talk to them about your job and make sure they understand how hard (and how long) you have to work to earn a certain amount. Talk to them about how you plan a budget and strive to stick to it every month as well.
You should also give your children chances to get hands-on themselves when it comes to managing money. Give your child an allowance and teach them the basics of saving through allowance management. When they’re old enough take them to open bank accounts of their own and encourage them to save part of their allowance so that they can deposit it into their savings account on a regular basis.
Educational games on the computer that teach children about money management can also be great learning tools. They help to link the concept of learning and being responsible with money to fun and enjoyment. They also help your child to become smarter and more goal-oriented overall by using multiple modes of stimulation to help them learn.
Set Good Examples Yourself
Although what you tell your children in regards to money management and financial literacy is no doubt important, don’t ever underestimate the value of setting a good example via your own habits. Children look to the people around them to decide how they behave. Kids who grew up with spendthrift parents who abused credit and lived beyond their means often grow up to do the same. However, children who were taught up front about the value of a dollar, a solid work ethic, and the importance of sticking to a budget are more likely to avoid debt, manage credit well, and be willing to work hard for what they want in life.
When it comes to financial literacy, early education is always the best course of action. Start talking to your children today about money and see what a difference it really makes.
Clay Piggy (http://www.claypiggy.com) is a virtual world gaming environment which teaches children basic money management skills and the concept of Earning, Spending, Saving, Investing and Giving in a fun and social way. Clay Piggy users choose their avatars by selecting and customizing their characters. Users earn virtual money by working at a job. Users also learn concept of credit score, different kinds of bank accounts, deposit money in bank, write checks and use debit / credit cards.