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Finance: The Subject They Don't Teach in Preschool

When we were in preschool, a lot of us were thrilled to receive a dollar. We could use that money to buy a whole bunch of penny candy, a comic book, a rock star pin, some pogs, or whatever the biggest (and cheapest) fad may have been during our younger days. We knew that as long as we had a certain amount of money, we could budget to get the most out of it. And even though the times have changed as much as the value of a buck, preschool children have not changed all that much.

For young children, the ‘monkey see, monkey do’ mentality remains prevalent. If your kids see you budget your money out carefully, they will try to do the same with their money. Since these attitudes about money will undoubtedly follow your child throughout life, it’s important for you to teach the value of money to your children from a very young age.

You can do a lot of things to teach your preschooler the value of money, but here are some of the most helpful  lessons you can teach:

  • Let your child learn the value of money firsthand. Give your child an allowance and only increase the amount if your child deserves it. When children have to learn how to budget their money, they will quickly learn what money is worth. For instance, your child could spend a full allowance on meaningless things or save up for something grand. Make sure that you explain these options to your child and you may be surprised at how quickly he or she learns the significance of saving money.
  • Teach your child how money is earned. If you go to an ATM machine or to the bank with your child, he or she does not see the effort that you spent making that money. All they see is that you walk up to someone, ask for money, and get cash. Explain the fundamentals of bank accounts, and that you have to earn money before you can receive money. The bank is simply a storage area for your money and any cash that you receive is earned.
  • Show your child how you handle money. You can sit your child down as you create a grocery list, figure out the funds to include in your weekly budget together, and prepare some shopping rules for when you go shopping together. Make sure that you stick to your budget and your rules so that your child will see the importance of paying attention to how much money you spend.

With these simple tips, you can teach your children some lessons they will carry throughout a lifetime. Remember, you are your child’s most important teacher, andmoney management is a fundamental lesson.

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