This blog post is contributed by Guest Blogger Linda Melton, Community Outreach Officer at Fulton Bank. Fulton Bank is a Forward Foundation Community Partner, providing Children’s Financial Literacy to the Forward Foundation parents and their families.
If you weren’t taught the value of money as a child, you probably understand its importance as an adult.
Everything is connected to money. Knowing how to manage it helps you support yourself and your family.
By teaching children financial literacy we can empower them to reach their goals as an adult.
This month I taught a financial literacy class for Forward Foundation families at Echo Lake State Park. Anyone can teach these concepts at home.
Why should I talk to my child about financial literacy?
Children are sponges. They can pick up skills at a young age that they will need later in life. Just like anything they learn, you can grow their financial literacy by sharing little pieces of age-appropriate information.
How can I talk to my child about financial literacy?
The younger they are, the simpler it should be.
Every child can earn money by doing chores. In this month’s session, each child received a Passport to Financial Success to take home. Families chose age-appropriate chores that each child could do for one dollar. In the fall, they’ll bring their Passport back to see how much they earned over time.
Your family can use the Passport too.
Here are some ways to help a child under 10 earn and understand money:
- Savings Jar – Children are visual learners. Let them put the money they earned each week in a jar and watch it grow. Talk with them about how they might want to spend some of it and let them decide. Encourage them to save some for a larger item and to donate some to a charity or organization your family supports.
- Coupon Clipping – Let the child look through coupons and help pick out the ones your family can use. The money they save in coupons can go in their Jar. There are lots of online coupon sites, like coupons.com.
- Box Tops – Help kids understand the concept of supporting their community by letting them scan the Box Tops for Education on items the family purchases. Download the Box Tops for Education app in the App Store or Google Play.
Here are some ways to help a child over 10 earn and understand money:
- Savings Account – Take your child to the bank and open a savings account if you haven’t already. Show them how to make the deposit and check the balance online.
- Small Jobs – Encourage them to earn money outside of the house by doing jobs for neighbors. Mowing the lawn, raking leaves, laying mulch and babysitting when they’re older are just a few of the things kids 10 and up can do.
- Family Finances – Talk to children about household finances. You can always start having the conversation at a younger age, but by now, kids should know about Wants vs Needs. Your family wants to have a fun day at an amusement park, but they need to pay the bills (housing, electricity, car) first.
There are many ways to help your child understand finances. It’s never too early to have simple conversations and let them take on some responsibility with the money they earn.
Look for the next Financial Literacy Program for Kids in the fall!