Well I don’t dare –
I am aware.”
Fighting the urge to spend more money than we have can be tricky in this overly consumer driven world. But teaching children how to combat all the “wants” and hold out for the “needs” is an invaluable lesson. That’s why our book “Chicks, Chat, and Change – The Money Tree” aims to teach children the value of where money comes from. Here are some at home exercises to reduce overspending:
Enforce a 24-hour waiting rule for purchases. Because there is so much instant gratification in our society, teaching kids to think about a purchase before acting on it will help them distinguish the difference in want vs. need.
Make a chart or a graph with your child to show them where and how money is spent. Using visual aids makes it easier for young children to grasp the abstract idea of money. Show them how much they receive, how much they spend, and what they spend it on, this will put spending in perspective.
Show your kids how to have fun without spending money. Spend the day at a local park, have a picnic in the backyard, or use recyclables to make arts and crafts. Inexpensive or free activities can sometimes be more fun than going to dinner and a movie.
Set a good example. Explain to them the costs of purchases like food, gas, and clothing and why these are necessary. When spending money on entertainment, if you can’t justify the purchase to your child, reconsider the purchase. Children are sponges; what you do will have a bigger impact on them than what you say.
Kids are not expected to be financial experts, but instilling good habits early can make a huge difference later in life. Teaching children about overspending while they are still young can greatly reduce the reckless spending behaviors when they are teens and young adults. “O” is for openness whether it’s about matters of overspending or daily life. What your children learn from you will be carried into their young adult lives. Answers from A to Z
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