Teaching Kids About Money

It’s never too early to teach children about money. Shane likes to get new games for the iPad allthetime, which was getting expensive. We knew we had to find a way to show Shane that we simply couldn’t get him 10 new $6.99 apps every single week. He’s only three, but we already have a small system in place that is exposing him to it a little, and while I wouldn’t exactly trust him with my credit card, I think we are setting him up to understand it more easily when he’s older.

Teaching Kids About Money- An Easy Idea for Beginning Learners

What we do: Each week, Shane is given three “Shane Dollars” {printed pieces of paper that have “Shane Dollar” written on them- our system is super intricate} on Monday. Each Shane dollar is good for one app from the app store for the iPad.

How it Helps:

Budgeting: Shane knows that having three “Shane Dollars” means he can get three games, so instead of asking for games he doesn’t really want, he takes his time to look at screen shots for games & asks us if they’d be good ones for him to pick. For now, all apps, regardless of price, are worth 1 “Shane Dollar”, though soon we plan on making paid apps worth 2 so that he can get deeper into budgeting, when he has to decide if that paid app is really worth 2 “Shane Dollars” when it means he gets one less game.

Patience: If you work a typical job, you get a paycheck every two weeks, or weekly. You likely don’t get paid every day. So having Shane get his “Shane Dollars” on Mondays causes him to need to be patient- even if he blows through all of his Dollars on the same day, he has to wait until Monday.

The Value of Hard Work: On occasion, Shane will find a game that he has to have RIGHTNOW but he’s out of “Shane Dollars”. Usually, we still have him wait until Monday, but once in awhile he’ll have the opportunity to earn additional money. He gladly takes up the easy tasks we give him, like moving the recycling into the proper container or helping me sort laundry, in exchange for a bonus “Shane Dollar”.

While our system is not even close to the only one, it’s what works for us right now. We use this very basic system because Shane is only three years old, but as he grows, so will our system. Eventually we will switch to real money & he will have to save up to purchase items, and he will  have a set list of chores to do each week before he can receive his allowance. &While Shane uses his “Dollars” to buy iPad apps, you could easily apply this to whatever your child can’t get enough of! Teaching kids to budget when they’re young gives them an advantage for later as it isn’t always easy to figure out exactly how much you need to budget each month.

Genworth Financial knows how hard it can be to budget & they now have an Easy Budget Calculator that can help you plan for retirement. By entering the amounts of your bills & income, you can determine what you can really afford vs. what you want. Looking at the sheet makes me realize how little of the answers I have for myself, though Justin does most of our finances so that’s a big part of the reason. {It also explains why as women get older, they become more financially educated- something that this article that I recently read from Yahoo! can explain much better than I can.}

How do you teach your children to budget?

Note: Information for this post is sourced from Genworth Financial in partnership with the SheHeard Influencer Network. All opinions are my own.

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