If you’ve ever visited a store with your little ones in tow, it quickly becomes clear that they think money grows on trees. Or rather, it flows from that magical drive-thru cash dispenser at the bank. It can be a tricky subject to tackle with kids, but those trips to the toy aisle become a bit more meaningful when you try a hands-on approach to teaching finances—even at a young age. From starting a DIY business to chore charts, here are a few ways to master the money game with your kids.
Start teaching your child positive saving habits today with an OnPoint Savers Account from OnPoint Community Credit Union. When you open an account and deposit a minimum of $25, OnPoint will deposit an additional $55!*
1. Play cashier.
Use “money” to play cashier with your kids at home. Play money you’ve bought or created works well for this activity! Next, set prices for items around the house—food, clothing, you name it—and allow them to pay with the pretend money, showing them how much they need and how much change they should receive after paying. Pretend transactions at home will help build the foundation for spending money in the real world.
2. Set an achievable goal. First, choose an item with your kids that they’d like to purchase with their own money—something they could reasonably achieve within one to three months. Then, remind them to save up every time they receive money via allowance or gifts. Once your little ones have saved enough money toward their goal, take them to the store to make the purchase with their savings, or possibly continue saving and setting a new bigger goal.
3. Explain how banking works and open a savings account. Your kids may think the bank, credit union or ATM is a place you visit when you need more money or that your debit card just has money. Take them with you to your local branch, and explain that it is a place that keeps your money safe after you’ve earned it, not somewhere that gives it away. Depending on how old they are, this could be as simple as teaching them about money in and money out, or as complicated as explaining compound interest, and the basics of income and budgeting.
4. Grow savings. Show them how to keep track of the money they save by writing deposits and withdrawals in a register or at the top of a piece of paper. Then explain how they can earn more money from their savings by keeping their money in their account. For example, in addition to receiving $55 when opening an OnPoint Savers Account, the account balance will earn 5.00% APY up to $500—a higher interest rate than a traditional savings account! Along with the OnPoint Savers Account, the credit union also provides tips and tools to help savers of all ages learn positive money habits.
5. Help them start a shop. What better way to teach your kids about money than by running their own “business?” Work with your child to determine what they’ll create, where they’ll sell, what their costs will be and how much they’ll charge. Selling homemade dog biscuits near a local dog park or having a DIY plant business is an excellent opportunity for kids to have fun and learn the value of money!