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Tips to Teach Your Young Children Financial Responsibility

There's no age limit for helping your kids learn to manage money. Explore our tips for letting your young children benefit from your experience.

Teach them to budget
An allowance can be a great first step in showing your kids how to manage money. You might give money every week to the youngest children, at two-week intervals for preteens and monthly for teenagers. Gradually spreading out the timing will help your children understand the need to manage their spending.

More tips to teach your kids financial responsibility:

Show them the value of saving
It's only natural for money to burn a hole in the pockets of the youngest kids. But it's important for them to discover the benefits of delayed gratification. If there's a toy or a game they have their eyes on, suggest they forgo spending their allowance on ice cream or another immediate pleasure and instead save for a few weeks to make the bigger purchase.

Let them earn a little extra
You probably expect your kids to clean their room, help with the dishes and do other daily chores. But consider offering them the chance to make extra money by helping you organize the garage, washing the windows or taking on another job that goes beyond the routine. Getting paid for extra work will help instill good habits and give children more control over saving and spending.

Introduce philanthropy
Even when your kids are very young, you can speak with them about your charitable gifts. Talk to them about organizations they might like to support, then earmark part of their allowance for donations to those causes.

Create learning opportunities
If your children spend their entire allowance right away, resist requests for more money before their next allowance is due. Negative consequences can carry powerful lessons. If you talk with your kids about how to do better the next time around, they'll start making smarter choices.

3 Questions to Ask Your Advisor

  1. What basic budgeting tools might my children use to gain financial skills?
  2. Which types of savings accounts are available that can help my children reach their financial goals?
  3. How do I help my older children build credit and what are their options for opening their own accounts?

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