Money, like time, is fluid for kids. They know it exists but it really doesn’t affect them. Mom or Dad will always make sure they have what they need – and often what they want. But not teaching kids about money is detrimental – not only to parents (hello toy aisle meltdowns), but also to those kids who will grow into teens, who then become adults. Building a good foundation with money is crucial.
So, When Should You Begin Teaching Kids about Money?
In my opinion, you should begin teaching kids about money when they first begin to really notice it. In my house that was when my eldest was about 3 years old. We were in Target and she asked for something. I said no, adding on that I didn’t have enough money to pay for it. “But Mom,” she said, “you can just go the machine (ATM) and get more.”
So we sat her down and had the talk. We explained how money doesn’t just pop out of a machine and how Mommy and Daddy have to work to earn money. We started reading the Junior books from Dave Ramsey as bedtime stories and implemented a very simple chore chart that included picking up her toys in the living room and helping collect garbage from the bathrooms. After each chore she would be paid 25¢, which was put in a fun, clear green piggy bank so she could see the coins add up.
Sure, she had to be helped, but she was learning that work = pay.
Thank goodness for Target’s $1 spot! After just a week she had enough spending money to buy a little trinket. How very proud she was to pay with her own money and to tell the cashier how she earned it!
We did the same thing with our youngest daughter and, as the girls got older, added more chores and more money to be earned. Now that they are 7 and 9, my daughters have responsibilities as well as chores. They are paid weekly – just like a “real” job, and their earnings are split: 10% giving, 50% spending, 40% saving. (You can see the system we use in the post “From Entitlement to Earning.”)
By setting these foundations while the girls are young we hope we are paving the way for security and success – at least with the money they earn – in the future.
Children & Families of Iowa’s Kidsfest, presented by Veridian Credit Union, is about families, fun, and lending a helping hand. Kidsfest is a kid-centered festival full of fun activities, games, and entertainment for kids and their families. This exciting event promises to thrill families and children of all ages.
This year’s event will be held at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Varied Industries Building:
Friday, February 28: 6 – 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 1: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 2: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Admission is $7.50 per person, per day. Children age two and under are admitted free. Veridian offers a $2 off admission coupon online and has provided us with tickets to give away!
This annual event draws over 15,000 central Iowans each year and is Children & Families of Iowa’s largest fundraiser, with the proceeds going to help at-risk families and children in Iowa. Kidsfest raised more than $155,000 in 2013. You can find more information about Kidsfest on the Children and Families website at www.cfiowa.org.
2 Giveaways for Kidfest Admission
Thanks to Veridian Credit Union, we have 2 giveaway packages with 4 Kidsfest admission tickets in each giveaway pack!
Contest begins at 11 p.m. Wednesday, February 12th and ends Wednesday, February 19th at 11 p.m. (CST).