Tips for helping you raise financially literate children

| January 28, 2014 | Comments (0)

coin-quarter-dollar-1429196-sDid you know that January is National Financial Wellness month in the U.S.? In our house we’ve been trying to find new ways to help our daughters understand our finances in a way that’s appropriate for their age. We’re working on budgeting and saving money, which we hope will put them on the right track for financial literacy.

I was intrigued by a website called MyJobChart.com, a free, easy to use, online and mobile job chart and reward system designed to teach, organize and motivate kids to earn, save, share and spend responsibly. Our girls adore all online activities, so this is a great site for them to use.

To help us improve our girls’ financial understanding this year, Greg Murset, CEO of MyJobChart.com and a Certified Financial Planner offers the following suggestions:

No More Hand Outs.

Start the year off right by deciding that you are not going to just shell out money to your kids anymore. When they come to looking for money, let them know that they will have to work for it. The bank is now closed unless they start pulling their weight a little more around the house. Tying work and reward together in some meaningful ways will help them understand responsibility and accountability. It will also help them understand that in real life, no one ever gets money for doing nothing.

Smash The Piggy Bank.

Piggy Banks are a bad way to teach kids about money. That’s right, take that piggy bank and smash it or throw it away. Long gone are the days when we should be teaching our kids about money by dropping coins into a bank that looks like a pig, jar or favorite sport team mascot. Using banks like these only teach children about money in a manner that isn’t as relevant anymore. Get them a real bank account and teach them how to manage their money though online services. It is far more useful to learn to manage money in a bank rather than a pig.

Make Kids Pay… For The Cell Phone, That Is.

According to Consumer Reports the average mobile phone user spends about $600 a year. If you do the math, you’re going to be shocked at how much you are going to be shelling out over the years so that your kids can send hundreds of meaningless texts each month to their friends. Kids should pay some, or all of their phone bill each month. This is a perfect opportunity for you to sit down and teach your children about how much things cost, especially things that they seem to think they are entitled to for some reason. This is also a great time to discuss the things that they can do around the house to earn the money to help pay that bill.

Play The Match Game.

Set up a matching program for your kids. They save a dollar and you match that dollar. Yes, 100% return. Sit down and determine what they would like to save for and then set out to accomplish it together. This is a great opportunity to talk about short term, mid-term and long term goals. When a child learns the power of savings like this at an early age, what do you think will happen when they get their first job and they learn about the 401(k) program that is available?

Make Them Better Givers.

No matter how your children earn their money, make sure they plan to donate a portion of it to a charity of their choice. The average American gives away about 4% of their annual income to charity and perhaps that percentage would increase if the next generation made giving a common practice as soon as they learned how to throw coins into a bucket.

Set Goals That Are Meaningful.

A start of a new year is a great time to sit down with children and talk goals.  Meaningful goals. Help your children put together a plan on working toward and saving for something significant. It could be a bike, musical instrument, laptop computer or go-kart. The more meaningful the item, the harder our kids will work to earn it and they will take care of it.

We like these tips. We have a started incorporating a couple into our routines. We’ll add others as our girls get older. I’ve bookmarked MyJobChart.com so I can keep going back for more tips. If you’d like to learn more visit www.myjobchart.com.

 

Shari writes about life with twins at Two Times the Fun, about family friendly events at Get Out and Have Fun Around Chicagoland and about raising readers at OMG (Oh My Books). Image courtesy of Stock Exchange.

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Category: Chicago, New Posts

About Shari: Shari is a mom, wife, marketing communications professional, gardener, Chicago Blackhawks fan, college sports fan, traveler, quilter, community volunteer, sister, daughter, aunt, friend, Siberian Husky owner, Girl Scout troop leader and book lover. You can find Shari blogging about life with twins at Two Times the Fun and tweeting @slcs48n1. View author profile.

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