I'm Not an ATM! Teaching Tweens about Money Management

By: Ann Saylor

You know the families with spoiled kids who are always throwing money at leisure without concern? And the families who control their children’s spending down to the penny? When it comes to money, it’s best to avoid both of those extremes. But there is a happy medium! It’s all about finding the right opportunities to talk about money. Here are some easy do-at-home or on-the-go tips for helping tweens understand money management. Read more >

Look for opportunities to talk. When your tween accosts you with the “I want this; I want that”, open up dialogue about spending, giving, and saving. Here are some of the conversations that we’ve had in our family lately:

  • “You only have $5. If you spend it on this, then you won’t be able to do that. Why don’t you take some time to think about how you’d like to spend your money, instead of making an impulse buy.”
  • “Would you rather spend your gift money on arcade games that will only last a few minutes, or save for something you can enjoy longer? Which would be more valuable to you over time?”
  • “The Sullivans have money to spend on that, because they’re not saving for a vacation this summer. Think about all the things you’re looking forward to when we get there!”
  • “I know you’d really like to have that, but you don’t have the cash for it right now. Why don’t you put it on your wish list for future gifts or purchases?”

Dip your toes in the water.

Do you have 10 minutes to spend on a financial activity with your family? Try one of these creative ways to explore financial topics:

Dive in deep.

  • If you’re looking for a comprehensive and engaging way to teach preteens and teens about money, visit www.BankIt.com for a free resource from Capital One and Search Institute. They talk about how to make positive money choices, how to avoid common money traps, how to reach toward financial dreams, and where to find resources to support you in making money choices.
  • Attend a free Kids and Money webinar, hosted by ParentFurther and presented by Nathan Dungan, founder and president of Share Save Spend®, this Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM, CDT. Register now! >>

Tell Us: How do you talk about money at home?

This is a great article that offers some wonderful tips on teaching kids about money. There are many kids these day who believe that their parents are ATM machines. It's good that they learn money management early.
    As kids get older they tend to think that their parents and that grow money but providing instructions on money management can help.

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