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Teaching Children about Money

Part of the Personal Finance Workbook For Dummies Cheat Sheet

As an adult, you need to model good money-management behaviors for children and involve them as much as possible in your decisions about money. Here are some ways you can interact with your children to help instill healthy money-management behavior:

  • Give children specific roles with regard to daily, weekly, and monthly money-management activities. This can include clipping coupons from the Sunday paper, making selections when grocery shopping, and going to the bank and interacting with the teller.

  • Help children discover that compromises are normal. Involve your children in a conversation about compromises regarding money-management decisions. Share the issues and your thoughts with your children and ask for their ideas.

  • Allow your children the opportunity to earn their own money and make their own decisions about what to do with it, with minimal influence on your part. If what they do with their money isn’t dangerous or illegal — regardless of how practical you think it is — allow them to proceed. Having responsibility and autonomy leaves them open to making bad decisions, but they’ll learn invaluable lessons about money management while you’re nearby to provide guidance when necessary.

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