According to a new study from University of Cambridge, researchers have found that kids’ money habits are formed by age 7. Financial experts also say that children as young as age 3 can grasp the concepts of saving and spending.
Where can parents start when teaching young ones about money? Ditch the piggy banks.
L.A. Parent magazine highlights the value in giving children clear jars, rather than piggy banks, to bank money into “saving, spending and giving” to build pride, motivation and gratification as they see the money build up in each jar.
Financial adviser and author of the book “Is Your Child a Money Master or Money Monster” Sunny Lee stresses the benefits of giving children commissions for chores accomplished, rather than allowances that don’t require an effort or work ethic, to differentiate value and educate kids about the nuances in earning money (i.e.: taking out the trash might be more lucrative than cleaning your room).
Pamela Yellen, financial expert and author of “The Bank on Yourself Revolution,” recommends teaching tweens and teens the benefits of delayed gratification. “Help your kids understand by offering your child an option. ‘Would you rather I give you five dollars now, or do you want to wait two weeks, and I will give you 15 dollars then?’ If they’re not sure you’d actually give them that 15 bucks in two weeks, let them watch you put 15 dollars in an envelope, seal it, and write their name on it, then put it in a safe place. Let them decide — five dollars now or 15 dollars in two weeks — and have them tell you why they chose that option. Discuss which option is a better alternative, and why. Then give them the opportunity to change their mind.”
As some family financial advisers say, we can’t afford to wait to teach our kids about money.
For L.A. Parent magazine’s listing of Los Angeles programs that teach kids financial literacy and skills, click here.
Jill Simonian is a Parenting Lifestyle Contributor, appearing on CBS Los Angeles every Wednesday on News at 5pm and Friday mornings at 6:45am. Her personal blog is TheFabMom.com. Follow Jill on Twitter @jillsimonian and connect with her on Facebook.