imagesHow early for money management?  The sooner the better and the use of simple day to day experiences go  a long way as  teaching tools!

5 year-old Andy gets a $25 Toys R Us gift card for Christmas.

  •   Andy’s first lesson is to determine what he wants to buy.
  •   He decides on a Tonka truck costing $39 (before sales tax)
  •   Andy now has to do some thinking about a budget:

                   1)  He can find a smaller truck costing within his financial limitations
                   2) He can save the gift card until he has the additional money needed

  • Andy has now had the experience of living within his means.
  •          1)He doesn’t get to borrow from his parents (credit card debt)
  •         2)He does get to plan for the future (savings) 
  •           3)He does have the opportunity to make a decision (financial planning)

You say, Andy doesn’t understand math in this way because he is only five years old and way too young for such an undertaking.

I say, Andy will learn about money this way and be ahead of the math lesson when he gets to the front seat in his elementary school classroom.

This takes patience and conversation on the part of parents. It also means, every parent has to know their OWN child as some kids may not be able to handle this situation at the age of 5. But many of them can and have done this kind of learning.

Curbside Parking the family car and feeding the meter is money management simple enough for kids to learn from.

  • 4 quarters for an hour to park but you don’t have any change and you are running late for your appointment.
  • The parking lot on the corner is your next opportunity but with a $5 flat rate.
  • You’re only needing two hours at the most.

Your kid has witnessed, and you are talking about what’s going on, so hopefully a lesson has been learned or at the least a true to life time and money management experience has been witnessed and discussed teaching:
                       1) plan ahead
                       2) time is money
                       3) not being prepared is expensive (in this case $3)
We  can design a “Your Kids Your Money” workshop specifically for your organization. visit our workshop page, fill out  request form, click to submit.  http://talkaboutparenting.org/workshops/

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Jean Troy

    I agree we sell our Kids short thinking they don’t understand. I remember being in the store with my 5 year old Granddaughter , and she remined me that the meter was about to run out, and Ididn’t want to get a costly ticket. I din’t think she understood those things but she did. So I started talking to her regarding finance and ways to save. She is now almost 30 and still remembers those talks.

  2. Laura Monteros

    I started my kids at three years old with and allowance of two dimes and a nickel every Saturday. A nickel for church offering and the rest they could save or spend. Usually they saved it.The allowance went up a bit every year until high school, when they got a set amount for four years. I think it was $5, which isn’t a lot, but I paid for all their school supplies and clothes, and gave them extra money for food on band trips or when there were long rehearsals, which my parents didn’t do for me.

    One of my kids saved for three months to buy a special toy he wanted. He was about six or eight years old at the time. It’s paid off as adults–they know how to manage money and differentiate needs and wants.

  3. -Nate

    YES ! .

    Children are always learning and the sooner you teach them anything , the better they’ll be at it later on .

    My Son learned to augment his allowance by age 6 by buying and re selling video game cartridges ~ he had an Atari and wanted the then new Mario Bros. games , on his own he made enough money to do this .

    By age 12 he had his own C.D.’s at the Credit Union and by age 18 had decided his money was better served by a local bank than the Credit Union , he’s off and running , like me he lives within his means and has a nice little Blue Collar life , no new lexus in his driveway because he chooses what he wants and saves for it .

    -Nate

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