Smart money management skills don’t just happen by accident. They are the result of years of learning about money strategies.
The reality is many adults in the United States are clueless when it comes to money. Take a look at the following statistics.
- 66 percent of adults have to rely on cash loans because they don’t have $1,000 in savings.
- 35 percent of adults have at least one collections activity on their credit files.
- The amount of student loan debt for retirement-aged adults has quadrupled.
If you have children, these money statistics should alarm you. After all, your children will become adults who will manage money one day.
It’s a good idea for you to teach your children about financial matters now. Here are four fun activities to teach your kids the value of money.
1. Set up a ‘store’ in your home.
Put prices on different items including food, clothing and electronics. Ask your children to browse through the store and make a list of items they would like to purchase.
After they make their lists, provide each child with an envelope of fake money. Be sure that the envelope contains just enough money for your children to purchase two or three items that they want.
As the cashier, you will take the money for each item and give them the correct change. When your children spend their money for the items, they will have to prioritize their purchasing decisions.
2. Use three glass jars to teach children about saving and spending.
Give three glass jars to each of your children. Make three labels – save, spend and give. Attach a label to each jar.
Have a brief discussion with your children about what it means to save, spend and give money. After the discussion, allow them to decide how much money they should put into each jar.
When they receive money from a job, allowance or gifts, they will distribute the money to each jar. After each jar reaches a set amount, allow them to deposit the savings into the bank, donate the contents of the ‘give’ jar to charity and spend the rest of the money on a fun activity.
3. Play a price guessing game.
Children will learn to respect money after they understand how the price of an item relates to the money in their bank account. Cut pictures of 10 items from a magazine – clothes, shoes, cars, fragrances, etc. On 10 note cards, write a dollar amount on each one.
Show your children a picture of each item and a dollar amount. Ask them if the dollar amount that’s written on the card is enough to purchase the item. After each child has provided a response, reveal the actual price of the item.
4. Let your children help you compare prices in the grocery store.
Sit down with your children to make your weekly grocery list. Allow them to include a few items that they want. Disclose to your children the amount of your grocery budget.
Go to the grocery store. While you are shopping, allow your children to help you compare prices to determine if the item is budget-friendly.
By participating in these activities, you can show your children how to value money.