When it comes to money, this time of year is typically associated with tax season, which can also be a great time to focus on your financial wellbeing. If you have children, it’s also a perfect opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of money—including the challenges and rewards of successful financial management.
Children can grasp financial basics at a very young age, which is why it’s important to start teaching them early on, so they have a solid foundation as they grow. Research shows that children who learn basic financial skills at a young age fare better than those who learn them later in life when the stakes are much higher.
You can start teaching financial basics to your children as young as 5 years old:
Counting money – First, get your children familiar with the value of different coins and bills, and start teaching them how much things cost like when you’re at the grocery store together.
Earning – Before they can save, they first need to earn money. Discuss with them different ways they can earn money by doing household chores and set a weekly allowance amount for completed chores.
Once kids have learned how money is earned, a good next step is to teach them the basics of saving, spending and sharing:
Saving/Spending – As they learn about earning, teach them about saving money and setting a goal to earn enough to buy something they want.
Sharing – Children can learn at an early age about donating money they’ve earned to those in need. If your child has a pet, they might want to donate to a local animal shelter. Ask them where they’d like to share their money.
One way to help emphasize this concept is to give your child three piggy banks labeled with saving, spending, and sharing.
Bellco Credit Union teamed up with Denver-based Economic Literacy Foundation to create a book for elementary school-aged children to learn the basics of finances, called “FUNancial $marts.” Parents and teachers can visit Bellco.org/FunancialSmarts to download or request copies of this fun, FREE activity book.
Bellco is one of Colorado’s largest financial institutions, with more than $5 billion in assets and 26 branches in Colorado. Founded in 1936, Bellco offers a full range of financial products and services including home equity loans, auto loans and checking accounts. Today, Bellco has more than 345,000 members who benefit from the advantages of a credit union, including lower interest rates on loans, higher yields on savings and access to thousands of ATMs nationwide. Connect with Bellco on Facebook and Twitter. Bellco is federally insured by NCUA and is an Equal Housing Opportunity Lender.