In today’s society, it’s increasingly harder to teach your children the value of a dollar. Every day, they are inundated with images of “must-have” new toys, electronics, or clothing on television and the internet. As technology becomes more and more prevalent in everyone’s lives, kids may be influenced by social media and their peers. But it’s important to reinforce the fact that happiness does not come solely from material things. In fact, it can even lead to consumer debt. Plus, you have to work hard and earn money. Start instilling these money lessons early on in your children so they can be prepared for the holiday season!
5 Money Lessons for Your Kids
- Teach gratitude. Focusing on positive experiences builds happiness. Ask your children to name something they’re grateful for everyday! Give them a gratitude journal. Not only will writing down what they’re thankful for every day put things in perspective, but it will also teach them to be less materialistic and more giving as a result.
- Have fun on the cheap. Everyone thinks you need to spend lots of money to have fun. Wrong! By doing fun activities at home, you can teach your kids the value of a dollar. For instance, you can have a dance party and a paint or a movie night at home. Invite other children to come over and play with your kids. Check out other fun activities on the cheap!
- Watch what you say. Children are very affected by their environment and the people closest to them. Make sure to practice what you preach. If you want your children to be less materialistic, don’t fawn over big-ticket items. If you are in lots of credit card debt, don’t emphasize your money problems to them. This can create skewed ideas about wealth later on. Try and be a good financial steward or that you are learning to become one.
- Reward them. When your children complete a difficult task, errand, or project, make sure to treat them. Although it would be nice to get a brand new toy, it doesn’t necessarily have to be a material thing. Take them to the museum on a free night, or out to the park. Instead of rewarding your children with things, you are giving them the attention and time they deserve.
- Pay it forward. Show children the goodness of giving early on. They can even do something small, like helping a classmate or giving a younger sibling some hand-me-downs. Instill this money lesson in your kids when they’re still young, that way they can build their compassion and volunteer even more as they grow.