5 Ways to Make Your Kids Smarter about Money
It's hard to sit your kids down and talk about how to handle money without their eyes rolling up out of boredom. But, notes finance guru Jonathan Clements, author of 'The Jonathan Clements Money Guide 2015, there are ways to turn everyday events into 'teaching moments' for kids.
Talk about allowance – Giving children an allowance opens up discussion opportunities. What would they like to buy with it? Would they like to support a charity? Ideally, you can get your kids to divide their allowance into three buckets: spend, save, and share.
Review the cell phone bill – Whether your child has a cell phone yet or not, reviewing the bill together is a good time to point out how data usage has the biggest impact on the size of a bill – and the benefits of using free Wi-fi when possible.
Visit the cash machine together – Show your child how to shield the keypad when punching in a personal identification number. It's a lesson in the importance of protecting personal information and avoiding identity theft.
Go grocery shopping – The supermarket offers a chance for all kinds of money conversations, including why items are priced at $3.99 rather than $4, how to use unit pricing to find the best deal and why sugary cereals are placed where children can easily see them. It also is a great opportunity to discuss needs and wants.
Open a bank account – A savings account can help your child track savings and see how they add up. By age 12 or 13, consider opening a checking account. Prod your child to review the account agreement, with a focus on opting for overdraft protection. Opting for it means no worry about debit-card purchases being denied—while without it, you can get hit with a $35 fee every time you overdraw.