Money 101 for kids
When it comes to money, it's never too young to start learning. Teaching kids as young as four the value of saving and spending wisely helps them grow up to live financially independent lives.
Help teach children money smarts with these five tips from Laurie Campbell, CEO of Credit Canada Debt Solutions, a debt-counselling service.
Lead by example: Examine your own attitudes about money. Children can learn financial responsibility by watching their parents. Do you spend smart by shopping sales, using coupons or comparing prices before making a purchase? Do you avoid debt and control spending (differentiate between wants and needs)?
Teaching kids the differences between needs and wants will help prepare them for making good spending decisions in the future.
Take ownership: Give kids an allowance and allow them to take charge of managing it. This gives them a vested interest in the money. If they learn early how to manage a small amount, they'll be more likely to handle their salaries responsibly as adults.
Save smart: Teach your child to save regularly. Set up a process for saving money in a piggy bank or bank account. They can learn how to deposit, withdraw money and how interest is earned. Get kids in the habit of saving a portion of every allowance or monetary gift they receive instead of spending everything they get.
Choose wisely: Show your child how to be a wise consumer. Before your child buys something, show them alternative ways of spending their money to emphasize how to make choices.
Encourage giving: Help your kids discover the satisfaction of sharing so they can identify ways to spend money on others. Encourage kids to set aside a certain amount of money that'll be donated to a charity or used to buy gifts for others.
» More: Set a budget and stick to it