Providing your family with the tools and knowledge to manage money effectively sets them up for future success when they navigate decisions like applying for a credit card, taking out a personal loan, or buying a home. When your family learns financial literacy together, everyone can build their skillsets and grow closer. Let’s discuss four practical ways to help family members of any age learn about personal finance.
1. Budget together
Your kids learn by example. You can model responsible financial choices by inviting them to participate in the household budget. While you may not want to include younger children in the more challenging money conversations, you could still include them in other parts of the budgeting process like setting a financial goal, for example, new back-to-school clothes. Each week, you could discuss your progress and possible financial choices that bring you closer to your objective. Remember, your household budget affects everyone, so it creates an opportunity for everyone to get involved and learn how managing a budget can help strengthen financial confidence.
2. Explore age-appropriate books and media
Teaching your family about financial literacy could feel overwhelming. Fortunately, a wide variety of books, shows, and podcasts exist for kids of all ages that could help your whole family sharpen their money skills. If you have small children, you may want to start with picture books about fundamental concepts, like exchanging money for toys or treats. Older children may enjoy games like Monopoly that the family could play together or podcasts that offer short breakdowns of financial concepts. Who knows? You may learn something, too!
3. Help your kids open a bank account
As your children start earning money on their own—through allowance or part-time work—a bank account could offer more complex insights into financial management. Start by explaining the basics of deposits, withdrawals, and debit cards. Then you could slowly introduce concepts like bill pay, recurring payments, and interest. Finally, teach them how a bank account can be used to manage a basic budget. A bank account may even help your children save money for their financial goals and allow them to reflect on their expenses. This step helps them build critical thinking skills to make thoughtful financial choices in the future.
4. Speak openly about money at home
How your family discusses finances could shape your children’s attitudes about money well into adulthood. Unfortunately, many families struggle to discuss money, and that stigma could have damaging long-term effects. Speaking openly about money teaches children that it’s not a shameful subject and gives them more confidence as they grow older. That doesn’t mean you necessarily have to discuss financial hardships with your kids. However, answering their questions honestly instead of shying away from topics like salaries, spending, and debt better equips them for the financial decisions they’ll face as they grow. Consider subjects you struggled with as a child or may still have difficulty understanding today. You and your family could learn together and work toward a stronger financial future