If things seem quiet lately on the site it’s because I’ve been slowing down in preparation of the (hopefully soon) arrival of our second daughter. The house has been cleaned, the bags have been packed, and everyone is on stand by.
I’ve been spending this month making sure that all of my obligations for work have been met so I can enjoy some time off when our baby girl is here. I’ve also been reading a fantastic book for an upcoming review and post – The Opposite of Spoiled. It’s timing couldn’t have been better.
Our first daughter is now three and a half and is extremely interested in EVERYHTING that we so. Questions are constantly spilling out and including money – or at least the basics of what money can do.
There’s so much more to money than just budgets and investing though. We want to show our kids that money can be a tool for many things including taking care of herself, family, and helping others. Inspired by the book, I wanted to share a couple of ways we started talking and including her.
Using Grocery Shopping as a Teaching Tool
One of the first ways we started introducing her to money concepts is with our grocery store runs. They’re usually short trips to get milk and other perishables so she’s more likely to pay attention for the majority of the time.
As we put items in the cart, I’ll ask her to count what we have. It’s good practice for her and a way for me to keep tabs on how much we’re buying.
While she isn’t ready to discuss budgets yet, we do want her to get the idea of having to make choices on what to buy. For her, we use afternoon snacks. With our grocery trips she gets to pick the snack she’d like for the week.
As a toddler some of her favorites include those Goldfish crackers, chips, and of course cookies. They tend to be in the same area of the store so she’ll usually want to get them all. We explain to her that she can only pick one. At first she was upset and would fuss, but now she starts to look forward to it.
Even though it’s only a minute of two, she will sit there and consider her choices before picking her snack.
Collecting and Counting Coins
She loves to count the coins and watch the jar’s numbers change as she adds the money in. When it’s sufficiently full we’ll divvy up the money into three categories – saving, spending, and giving.
What we’ve been doing so far is having her savings deposited at our bank (Capital One 360). We have used them for several years for our joint accounts and have found them easy to use.
Now that she’s getting more interactive with other kids and has her group of friends, I think we’ll start introducing giving into the equation. I think it would nice for her to start getting either small gifts for her buddies or supplies so she can create something for them.
When we’ve done thank you cards sometimes she’ll happily ‘sign’ her name and deliver the cards. I think she gets a kick out of seeing people smile. As she gets older we’ll talk more amd come up with fun ways to include her with other charitable activities.
Thoughts on Teaching Kids About Money
We are definitely not experts, I just wanted to share some things we’ve been teaching our daughter. I’d really love to hear from you about how you introduced money to your kids. What lessons did you start off with? How old were your kids? What seemed to work really well and what didn’t?