Growing up, money was always a huge subject in our house. My parents really pressed that we learn as much about money as we can. We were given chores, an allowance and taught to save. My father was always very particular about the way he spent his money, he would document every single penny that he spent and then balance his funds and savings. It was quite the ordeal to watch.
Children learn a lot about money management from watching their parents and so the best way to teach your children about money and finances is to make sure you are money savvy as well. The first step to teaching your children about finances is to lead by example.
Like my father, I have a spreadsheet for everything. I like to ensure that we are as organized as possible financially, and although there are many times that planning hasn’t always worked and we’ve needed help, we have been able to learn from our mistakes and recover. After all, sometimes things happen that you are not expecting or ready for financially.
Have open discussions about money in your house. If you have saved up for that new couch and are finally able to purchase it, explain to your kids small details like how long it took to save up to buy it, and why you wanted to save to purchase it instead of buying it on credit. It is easy to fit financial lessons into your child’s everyday life. They will learn without even knowing they are learning.
Keep it Natural
Don’t force a conversation with your children about money. In fact, no conversation about finances should be forced, not even with your spouse. Let the conversation flow freely and ensure the topic is brought up at the appropriate time and place.
Lead by Example
As I said earlier, leading by example with money is a great way to ensure that your family is financially literate. You have to remember that you are your child’s first opportunity to learn about finances and money, so make sure you are setting a positive example. Your children ARE watching you.
Age is Just a Number
You can start teaching your children about money at a pretty young age. Remember, time is of the essence, and if you instill good money values in your child from a young age, they will have a better chance at knowing how to manage their money as adults.
Resources are Your Friend
There are various resources you can use to help your family learn more about money. TD offers a fun Digital Financial Literacy Activity book for children that can help them learn more about finances in a fun and exciting way. Visit TD’s Financial Education page to learn more about how they are committed to financial education, and ensuring that your family is making financial decisions with confidence.
How do you teach your family about money?