USAA Tips: 5 easy ways to teach kids about money

Content provided courtesy of USAA | By Angela Caban

When it comes to parenting, one of the best lessons we can share with our kids is about money. Money talks should start at an early age, and by the time kids reach middle school they should be conscious of how money works as well as the importance of saving.

Being money-wise at different stages requires clear explanations as well as total honesty about your own money situation. You can turn each situation that revolves money into a learning moment, or even a game to make kids more interested.

Here are 5 easy ways that you can teach kids about money:

1. Start simple. The traditional piggy bank is always my favorite way to teach kids about money, as well as saving it. Gift your kid with a piggy bank or perhaps a clear jar so that they can see the savings accumulate. Have them count the money and determine how much they would need to purchase something they like. My kids were always shocked at just how much they had to save to buy a new game or toy that they ended up wanting to save it. A good lesson that money does not grow on trees.

2. Use technology. There are so many apps and games available for almost anything today. Why not use it for something useful such as games that teach basic money concepts? Many games are geared towards different age groups, so be sure to load one that your child can understand.

3. Play store. Grab some play money and a pretend cash register or calculator, label some items with how much they cost and have children practice making purchases. This will help them with the basics of adding up as well as managing prices and what they have.

4. Clip coupons together. Make it a weekly event, give kids the responsibility as well as awareness that coupons help save money. Sit down and talk about the grocery list and what coupons you can use to help lower the bill. It can become a fun game and keep track of what you are saving, and show the total.

5. Give them responsibility with real money. Give them some money to use and head to a local yard sale or even supermarket. Have them shop along with you and keep track of what they have. This will also teach them about making change as well as ensuring they are alert when handling money.