Simple Tips For Helping To Raise Money-Smart Children

As part of our continued effort to showcase important lessons from the Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy Training that North Dakota Community Action Agencies offer

we are sharing some simple tips for helping to raise money-smart children. Our hope is that you will find the information helpful and useful for your every day life!

Learn to Earn Money

  • Pay a weekly allowance in return for doing family chores like washing dishes, increase the amount as they get older (e.g.- pay half their age weekly, like age 5 = $2.50/week).
  • Help them become young entrepreneurs, i.e. pet walking, painting, car washing, tutoring.
  • Tell teenagers their main job is school, but allow them to get part-time job if they get good grades.

Learn to Set Goals

  • Have them write a wish list and make regular savings deposits toward something they want. Show them how long it will take if they save money every week so they can plan.
  • Consider matching their savings, so they are motivated by reaching goal quicker.
  • Try to let them learn the good feeling of earning something: kids take better care of things they buy with own money than if it is just given to them.

Learn to Save Money

  • Pay allowances in quarters instead of dollars: have them put 25 cents to savings, 25 cents to giving, 50 cents to decide for themselves (spend or save more).
  • Once a month go together and deposit their savings money with them. Credit unions and banks have special savings accounts for children which help them save.
  • Once a month take the giving money and decide together how you will share it (for example, go buy food for the local food shelf and deliver it together).

Learn to Enjoy Life without Spending

  • Limit going to the mall and help them find non-commercial places to be with friends.
  • Plan family fun around no-cost activities, such as walks together, picnics, reading books aloud, playing board games, volunteering with seniors or Big Brother/Sister program, building houses with Habitat for Humanity, getting books and movies from the library, gardening, and ushering at plays to get in free.
  • Plan family fun around low-cost activities, too, like inviting friends to a potluck party, starting a community garden plot, gym memberships, and reduced fees for camps by mentoring younger kids.

SOURCE: Four Cornerstones of Financial Literacy, Authored by Darryl Dahlheimer of Lutheran Social Services Financial Services in MN.

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