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Information of Money Matters

Follow the Leader

It’s a good idea to let your children accompany you to the bank and stores from the time they are infants so they can begin to understand the concept of money exchange. Explain to your toddlers, young children and teens exactly what you are doing and how much it costs. Allow them to see the exchange of money, checks, and credit cards between you and the merchants. Be careful to never make your children feel guilty about how much the bills cost, because that can cause damage to their self-esteem and self-worth. Try to explain each step from where you get the money, where you store it, and how you spend it so they’ll know that it’s a whole revolving process. Money management matters. Teach your children early so they can be wise about their finances.

Here Piggy, Piggy

At any given point during the day, you might see a new mother desperately prying coins from her 1-year-old’s mouth. What this Mom doesn’t realize is that maybe her child was eating the money because he had absolutely no idea what to do with it! We assume toddlers are just too young to understand money, but that’s not the case. Children love animals, so why not give your toddler a piggy of his own? And, when your toddler picks up loose change off of the floor, he will instead come straight to Mommy so he can have the treat of putting it in his bank. Once he breaks the stage of putting coins into his mouth, encourage your child to independently ‘feed’ his Piggy Bank every day so the piggy can grow and be healthy and strong. When the bank fills up, reward your smart toddler’s savings by taking it to the bank for dollar bills. Let your child buy a special treat that he’s been looking forward to with his own money. There are even toys that emulate this process with pigs that sing when kids drop plastic coins into their backs for Moms that don’t want their children to handle real money yet.

Treasure Hunt Time

This is a sure way to get children excited to learn about money matters. Save yourself time and stop breaking your back by constantly picking up coins from the floor, in the laundry room, beneath the sofa cushions, and everywhere else money disappears into. Instead of wearing yourself out, when the kids begin to look bored shout out, ‘IT’S TREASURE HUNT TIME!!’ If you feel up to it and have time, you can even come equipped with a bunch of scarves so they can dress up and pretend to be Pirates. Let your children know the safety rules of the Treasure Hunt (like, no crawling into the washing machine). Tell them they will be able to keep any money they find to save up for something special.

One Mom had a blast doing this with her 6- and 8-year-olds, and while they were busy, she had time to complete some of her own work online. However, when her daughter’s teacher called home the next day concerned that she had brought a $100 bill to school, Mom had to let the kids know that ‘finding change’ did not include going through Daddy’s pants pockets or Mommy’s purse! So, to avoid any confusion, set those rules clearly beforehand.