Ages 6-9: Financial Readiness
Help Kids Use Money Well
• If you haven’t started giving your child an allowance, this is another good time to start. It’s better for kids to get used to receiving money on a regular basis so that they can practice getting money, saving money, giving money, and spending money.
• Talk about advertising and how it influences us to spend money. Some parents teach kids to turn off TV commercials (or put them on mute) because they’re only there to sell something.
• Know that spending is the number-one money topic among parents and kids, according to Search Institute research for Capital One. Both parents and kids struggle with spending, overspending, and the desire to get more money. It’s a common tension in almost every household.
• Talk about money with your kids. Which spending, saving, and giving strategies have you found that help you to manage money well? Where have you made mistakes?
• Model savvy spending habits. When you get upset, go for a walk instead of going shopping. Don’t spend more than you earn.
Help Kids Save Money
• Help your child learn how to save. If your child wants something expensive, show how your child needs to save a certain amount of money each week to save enough. Don’t get your child in the habit of buying something and then paying you back. Teach your child to save, wait, and then spend when he or she has enough money.
• Help your child set saving goals. For example, if your child wants to buy a video game or a book, create concrete steps to help them save their money to buy it.
• Make savings goals short and easy to reach. A 6- to 9-year-old child will have a much easier time saving for something over a two- to four-week period rather than a period of one year.
• Find other adults who save money well to be role models for your kids.
Help Kids Give Money
• Give money as a family. Talk about the places you give money to and why. Kids notice and learn from the adults around them.
• Make giving fun. Attend school and community fundraisers.
• The younger children are when they start giving money, the more likely they’ll be generous when they’re older. Encourage your kids to give money to worthy causes and to save money to help others.
• Teach children about worthwhile causes, such as saving the rainforests (visit the kid-friendly website: http://rainforestheroes.com/). Or adopt an endangered species through the World Wildlife Fund (www.worldwildlife.org) and get a matching stuffed animal.
• Create a giving box that sits in a prominent place in your home. Encourage family members to place coins in the giving box. When it’s full, give the money to a worthy cause, such as a local food pantry or homeless shelter.
Get more ideas about helping kids use money well at ParentFurther, http://www.parentfurther.com/parenting/money.
Explore money topics at Bank It, www.bankit.com.