Instill good money habits in your children by teaching counting, saving and spending money from a young age.
Set up a family piggy bank
Young children love to collect coins. You can teach them the basics of savings by setting up a family piggy bank. Set a goal for your family (for example, saving enough money to go to Chuck E. Cheese). Every day, place the leftover change from your pockets or purse into the bank. If your kids get an allowance, encourage them to contribute a portion of it in the piggy bank, too. This exercise will help illustrate how a family can work together to save for something fun.
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Play online games
Some kids learn more quickly from the computer these days. If your little one loves online games, teach him about money using the Peter Pig’s Money Counter game from Practical Money Skills for Life. With this simple game, kids can practice sorting and counting coins. The website also offers games for older kids, as well as tips for parents and educators about all aspects of personal finance.
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Read together about money
Seek out books and other reading materials that teach kids about money. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host and New York Times best-selling author Dave Ramsey created a line of products just for kids. For young ones, try Junior’s Adventures Boxed Set ($25). In these six brightly colored, illustrated books, Junior learns about giving, sharing and spending as he takes part in adventures to the carnival, a field trip and more. The series covers important life lessons about hard work, integrity and spending. The books also come in audio format — perfect for long commutes or traveling. Learn more about the books, as well as other information about Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover Plan at DaveRamsey.com.
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Check out Thrive by Five
The America’s Credit Unions website features Thrive by Five, a program of simple activities for teaching your preschooler about spending and saving money. On the site, you can get information and instructions for a number of different hands-on activities for preschoolers to teach them about how to wait to spend money, how to not lose money, how to help with shopping, about earning money, that having fun doesn’t have to cost money and more valuable money lessons. The website also offers stories about money for preschoolers and other tips for parents about how you can teach young kids about money, as well as how to model good money management.