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How to raise children with an appreciation and awareness about money

If there is any truth in this statement, then we need to teach our children about money. They can learn about money from a young age.  Learning through practical experience is best when it comes to a life skill like handling money.

What do you want your children to learn about money?

These money-related topics may give you some ideas.

  • The value of money.
  • How to spend money wisely.
  • How to save money.
  • How to work for money.
  • How to share money with others.
  • Read books and look at picture books about money.

See if you can tick all these money-related boxes after reading these suggestions.

  • The value of money.

Once your child can count and understand the meaning of number value, you can add to their knowledge and experience with coins.

(NB they must be over the mouthing, putting everything into their mouths, stage).  

Start with counting games and counting in 2s or 5s, or 10s and use coins to play with.  Throw a dice and the children have to match the number on the die with the right number of coins. Start a piggy bank or money jar to save their own coins towards a treat. Older children will enjoy games like Monopoly. This stage is all about handling money and knowing its monolatry value. Some countries have different names for their money. You will adapt the suggestions to suit your country.

  • How to spend money wisely.

Children should be taught to understand the concept of needs and wants to learn about the wise use of money. Let your child go with you to the supermarket and see how the money is spent on a grocery shop. Let them have a calculator to help you add up the totals if they are able to operate a calculator.  

Explain the difference between a need and a want. When you go shopping, have a separate basket for wants and offset them with the needs list. That will help children understand the difference between toothpaste needed for brushing teeth and want like a big packet of sweets!

Another way to learn about spending money is to create some fantasy play by making an imaginary shop. Your child can sell imaginary pizza or a milkshake. The money will change hands and your child will learn to buy and sell through the activity. Learning how to give change or find the right money is an important learning factor too.

  • How to save money.

Encourage children to save money by giving them pocket money and showing them the value of keeping a portion of the money for a savings plan. Let them save some money and then have the joy of spending what they saved on something special. When they are ready to understand how a bank account works, let them open a student’s account and add money to their account. Encourage your child to plan the ways they would like to spend their saved money. If there is something they particularly want, help them save towards that item.

  • How to work for money.

Children can learn how to earn money in different ways. It is important to show them the difference between doing some chores to help around the house and doing something specific to earn some money. For example – making your bed or tidying up toys would be household chores while weeding a big patch of the garden or washing the car, maybe a money-earning opportunity. Children should not feel entitled to be paid for the slightest thing they do, but there could be a reward for going out and doing something beyond helping out at home. School fairs and street markets are also an opportunity to sell something handmade.

  • How to share money with others.

There cannot be a nicer part of knowing about money than how to share it. There are three aspects to money. They are giving, saving and spending. First, giving is most important. It is probably the most difficult for young children to grasp. The good idea is to keep three money jars one is for spending, one for saving and one for giving. Wherever the giving jar will be going, the owner of the contents should go along as well so they can experience giving too. When they are old enough, let your child choose the charity and the gift. There are so many worthy causes out there.

  • Reading money-related story books.

Choosing money themes through storybooks is another good way to get a positive message across about money.

Here are some suggested titles to get you started:

  • "Bunny Money" by Rosemary Wells (Ages 3-5)
  • "The Money We’ll Save" by Brock Cole (Ages 4-8)
  • "A Dollar for Penny" by Julie Glass (Ages 4-6)
  • "Lemonade in Winter" by Emily Jenkins (Preschool-Grade. 2)
  • "Arthur’s Funny Money" by Lillian Hoban (Grade. 1-3)
  • "A Chair for My Mother" by Vera B. Williams (Ages 4-8)
  • "How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?" by Iza Trapani (Ages 2-5)
  • "Aida’s Violin" by Susan Hood (Grade. 2-5)
  • "Corduroy" by Don Freeman (Ages 1-3)
  • " Caps for Sale and the Mindful Monkeys" by Esphyr Slobodkina (Preschool-Grade. 1)
  • “Money Plant” by Monical Eaton (Ages 4-7)
  • “Rock, Brock and Savings Shock.” Sheila Blair (Ages 5-6)
  • “A boy, a Budget and a dream” By Jasmine Paul (Ages 4-8)
  • “One Cent, Two Cent, Old Cent, New Cent.” By Dr. Seuss (Ages 4-7)

    There are so many skills to teach your child about handling money wisely. Start early in their childhood. Let your child experience practical ways to work with money. They will thank you in the end.