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Teaching Your Kids to Be Money Smart: 3 Tips for Parents

We all want to set our kids up for living their best life. Teaching kids good habits for budgeting, spending and saving money can help them to have better financial flexibility as adults. And better financial flexibility means more freedom to pursue the life they want to live

It's easier than you might think to teach your children about money! Follow these tips for raising money-smart kids:

#1: Talk about money with your kids

One study found that parents who talk with their kids once a week about money matters tend to raise money-confident kids. Not sure how to approach the money conversation with your children? Start with the basics. Explain where money comes from and how it's used to pay for things like clothes and food. Include your children in family conversations and decisions about money, such as planning a family vacation. Being open and honest with your kids about money will help them understand its value.

#2: Look for teachable moments

Every day is an opportunity to teach your kids about smart spending and saving. For example, a trip to the grocery store can be a lesson on comparing the prices of brand-name and generic items. Another great lesson is explaining the basics of budgeting. Show your kids how you track your spending, whether it's with a notebook, spreadsheet or app. 

When your kids are old enough, consider giving them a small allowance for doing chores. This will help them understand the relationship between work and money. It won't be long before your children learn that money doesn't grow on trees!

#3: Encourage savings

Each time your children receive their allowance or gift money, encourage them to set some aside for a bigger savings goal. Depending on their age, this could be a short-term goal like a new toy or a long-term goal like a car or college education.

​Consider opening youth savings accounts for your children. This way, they can learn about depositing and withdrawing money. Review their monthly statement together or check their account balance on a mobile app to see how their savings grow over time!

It's never too early (or too late) to teach your kids important lessons about smart money management. With a solid foundation, your children will be well-prepared to face concepts like credit, interest rates and borrowing in the future.

Want more tips and tools for smart money management? Stop by a local Wright-Patt Credit Union Member Center or browse our helpful online resources.​