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Top 10 Engaging Ways to Teach Kids About Money Management

May 01, 2018

We’ve all made a few “less than wise” financial decisions in our lives. Teaching our children about financial responsibility can save them some of the pain we endured when our eyes were bigger than our wallets. Although we’re not qualified to dish out parenting advice, we do know a thing or two about healthy financial habits. Here are some fun and engaging ways to teach practical money management skills to your kids—with no graphs or charts required.

1. Save Money in Clear Jars

 by freeimage4life, on Flickr
“” (Public Domain) by freeimage4life

Although piggy banks are a quintessential part of childhood, you may want to opt for clear jars instead. Your kids will see their jar get fuller after each contribution they make— a great visual reminder of how saving a little at a time can pay off big down the road.

2. Allow Them to Run a Lemonade Stand

Lemonade Stand by Bre LaRow, on Flickr
Lemonade Stand” (CC BY 2.0) by Bre LaRow

Letting your kids set up a table on the sidewalk and put their sales acumen to the test teaches a whole range of valuable lessons, like supply and demand, profits versus costs, and even a little bit of marketing. All are great concepts that will help them learn the value of the dollar.

3. Pay Cash for Chores

40+299 Domestic by bark, on Flickr
40+299 Domestic” (CC BY 2.0) by bark

Many financial experts advise against a traditional allowance system. Give your kids a few easy chores around the house and reward them with a fair wage. The lesson here is simple: Good work is rewarded with good pay.

4. Use Wish Lists

Wish List by plindberg, on Flickr
Wish List” (CC BY 2.0) by plindberg

Wish lists teach children that not everything they want will come easy. If your kids create a list of items to work toward, they’ll learn about delayed gratification and goal-setting, too.

5. Set Savings Goals for Family Activities

Family fun by AJBombers, on Flickr
Family fun” (CC BY 2.0) by AJBombers

Family vacations are awesome for relaxing and making memories, but showing your children that vacations need to be saved for is just as valuable. Involve them in the saving process as best you can, and make sure to show them how lots of small contributions help reach larger savings goals.

6. Play Board Games to Teach Lessons

Monopoly by Secret Pilgrim, on Flickr
Monopoly” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Secret Pilgrim

Aside from starting lasting sibling rivalries, games like Monopoly and Life can teach your children how money is actually a finite resource. Not being able to afford something can be a foreign concept to children, so starting them off with a limited supply of fake money helps ease them into this realization.

7. Hold a Yard Sale

yard sale detail by IntangibleArts, on Flickr
yard sale detail” (CC BY 2.0) by IntangibleArts

Start a small business right in your front yard. There’s no better way to show your kids the value of things they may take for granted.

8. Take Them Grocery Shopping

Nov 20 - SNAP - Grocery Shopping by USDAgov, on Flickr
Nov 20 – SNAP – Grocery Shopping” (CC BY 2.0) by USDAgov

While picking up items for your next family meal, make a point to show your children that each item costs a certain amount of money. This helps give kids a new perspective on where their food comes from while teaching them that even life’s most basic necessities aren’t free.

9. Utilize Online Resources

CoderDojo Linz by rainerstropek@yahoo.com, on Flickr
CoderDojo Linz” (CC BY 2.0) by rainerstropek@yahoo.com

There are a plethora of online resources designed to teach kids the value of the dollar. A simple Google search can help you find fun games and videos that teach valuable lessons about money and how to spend it.

10. Lead by Example

Family photo by mistyj26, on Flickr
Family photo” (CC BY 2.0) by mistyj26

It’s a cliche, but the truth is that your kids learn from your example more than anything—so no pressure. By teaching basic financial skills to your children, you’re doing your part in building a better future. Believe it or not, raising tomorrow’s leaders today. Nobody said it would be easy, but we know you’ve got this.

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