Summer Ideas to Create Financially Savvy Kids

Maura Schauss |
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By Victoria Boinest

It’s never too early for a parent to start teaching their children about money. With a good base of knowledge, children will have a strong foundation from which to draw while managing their finances in the future. Many young adults are graduating from high school and even college with little to no financial literacy. So, to ensure your child is financially smart before they leave the house and go off into the real-world it is ideal to expose them to financial learning opportunities at a young age. Summer is a great time to help your children experiment with money and to begin their understanding of earning, spending and saving. Here are some ways you can teach your child about money this summer.

Encourage your children to start their own “business.”

Earning money can sound exciting to kids when something fun is involved! Having your children set up their own lemonade stand is a great way to motivate them to have their first experience with selling goods and, in turn, being rewarded for those goods.   In addition, they could provide a service to friends and neighbors like walking pets, washing cars or collecting mail and newspapers while neighbors are away on vacation.

Have a garage sale!

Have your kids gather up their toys and games they don’t use anymore and set up their own table at a garage sale. They can participate in selling their old goods while also learning how to fairly price old and used toys, experience negotiating, etc.   Creating garage sale posters and flyers expose them to the concepts of marketing a business as well!

Teach your children what to do with the money they earned

When your kids earn money, discuss the concepts of saving, spending and sharing.  Always have them set some money aside for the future. Getting your children in the habit of saving will help them maintain these practices when they grow up. Putting their money away in something as simple as a piggy bank or taking it a step further to open a savings account will get your kids excited about the process and motivate them to practice it.  Teach your children that money can grow when saved and invested.

To help demonstrate the reasons why we save, your kids can choose something they would like to buy and save up their own money to purchase this item. Knowing that they will be rewarded by saving their money for a period of time will motivate them to follow through with it!

If your children have a cause that is dear to them, like animals, you can support their sharing habits by contributing some of their earned money to an animal shelter.  This allows them to experience some of the many benefits of saving and sharing.

Learning the value of money

Determining the value of goods is something that can be hard for anyone to understand, let alone your growing children. Helping your kids learn the financial worth of an item can allow them understand how much money they may need to buy, or to save for, something in particular. It can be as simple as walking your children down the grocery store aisles and having them take guesses as to how much an item might cost and then showing them the real value. This can warm them up to the cost of simple goods which can then allow them to get familiar with more expensive items like phones, clothes, etc. as they get older!

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