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Summer fun can also be a financial teaching moment for your kids

Summer is most often cited by kids as the best time of the year mostly because there is more fun than learning. For parents, summer fun can also be a great financial teaching moment for your kids.
Can kids of all ages be involved in this?
Almost all kids can learn financial topics. There are age appropriate learning opportunities for kids as young as 5 years old up to college age young adults. The lessons they learn while having fun might be more valuable than what they find in classes and other educational opportunities regarding personal finance.
What are activities that younger children from 5 – 10 years old might be able learn from?
One good learning opportunity is having an allowance for their pool or camp snacks. Give them a weekly spending limit and let them keep whatever remains.  The key is to not advance next week’s snack allowance or give them more.
Are there any others for this younger age group?
Giving them the task of looking for coupons and helping with the grocery list a great activity that can help them understand what food costs and also help them understand needs versus wants. The first grocery list and stack of coupons might be very interesting however.
What about children who are 11 – 15 years old?
Starting at this age, perhaps you want to give them an activity budget for the month. Let them decide how to spend their activity budget each month. That will allow them to either have lots of lower cost activities or one highly desired but more costly activity.
What if their plans exceed the budget?
This is when you can them talk about them generating their own income with summer jobs such as mowing lawns, babysitting and other tasks that would be age appropriate. This starts them on the path of basic budgeting skills and understanding that income doesn’t have to be limited if they are willing to do more.
What if your child is 16 years old or older?
This age group has plenty of opportunities available to them. First, they are likely driving a car, so make them responsible for keeping the tank filled up if they have their own car. If they are driving yours, have them contribute weekly to fill up the tank.
Do you recommend summer jobs for those 16 and older?
Mostly certainly. First, it provides the cash that they can use to fund their summer activities. Secondly, it can reinforce the concept of saving for the future, even if it is just short term savings. Saving to buy something is a great habit to reinforce as early as possible.
What financial skill might this age group learn from this?
Even if it’s not a formal written budget, they are starting to use the concepts of budgeting. It might only be a spending plan but this is a strong foundation for later developing a useful budget. The most important part is that they will become accustomed to planning their money moves.

Posted: 6/13/2016 with 0 comments

Categories: Kids and Money, Money Matters, Students

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