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5 fun ways to start financial literacy early

Your 8-year-old may not have a credit card or bills to pay. But finances are complicated, and it never hurts to start early. After all, kids who learn to manage money effectively are better prepared to live independently as adults and make good financial decisions. They also learn to pay down debt or avoid accumulating it altogether.

And if that’s not all, teaching children about money can also be fun! Here are 5 fun ways to teach your kids about money:

1. Start with a piggy bank (or, you know, a jar)

Chores are a great way for kids to start earning some cash. Plus, it means that you’ll get a break from folding towels or washing the dishes once in a while!

Use these earnings to talk to your kids about the importance of saving. Whether it’s saving up for a new toy or having money for a souvenir on your next family vacation, help your child set up a plan for what they need to do to get enough money (and how to save it).

2. Play a game

Games are some of the best ways to teach kids lessons and have fun in the process. For younger children, a toy cash register can be a useful tool to teach the basics of adding up prices and managing money. For older children, classic games, like Monopoly or Life, teach important life skills, such as how to purchase real estate or save up for retirement. Remember, the earlier your kids learn to manage money, the sooner they’ll be able to stop dipping into your wallet as adults!

3. Create a wish list

As the holidays creep up, work with your kids to write a list of the presents they really want. Use this as an opportunity to teach your children how to prioritize some of these purchases.

4. Plan a grocery trip together

Inviting your kids to the grocery store can be a fun way to talk about money. Plan a few meals together and head to the grocery store to stock up. You can show your child how much you save by purchasing generic vs. brand name products or stocking up on items that are on sale. And because you can also use the trip to teach your kids about healthy eating, you’ll be able to kill two birds with one stone.

5. Cash in on birthdays

Birthdays are a great opportunity to get your children to think about money. If one of their friends is having a birthday party, set a budget together for the gift and encourage your child to shop for a toy or game they can “afford.” Use this as a lesson on how to make purchases within your means.

 

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