Benson Tait

Benson Tait

Feb 20, 2023. 8 mins read

Family Finance

Money Matters for Mini-Mes: A Parent’s Guide to Financial Fun for Kids

Does your latest trip to Aldi turn into endless requests from your kids for every toy, lolly, and Bluey figure within the special buys? Are your kids constantly itching to spend their birthday cash or earnings from odd jobs before you can even say ‘saving’?. You know discussing money with your children is important, but where do you start?

fur coat kid with money

Maybe you’re unsure how to talk with your kids about money. Well, here’s some good news! It’s absolutely possible to teach young children the value of money in an approachable and fun way. Whether playing with piggybank puzzles or setting up shop in your living room, it’s time to make learning about money a blast for your mini-mes!

How Do I Teach My Kids About Money? (So They Actually Learn Something)

Kids notice everything. Everything. They see the good, the not-so-great, and everything in between, including how you handle money. 

Okay, so your three-year-old likely doesn't know what you spend on petrol every month. But they undoubtedly notice that Cadbury bar you snuck into the cart. (Even though you adamantly stated you were sticking to your list.)  And since financial education for kids isn’t something readily available in all schools, it falls on the parents to take the reins.

Therefore, one of the best ways to lay a healthy foundation for your kids regarding money is by example. If you have good money habits when it comes to saving, giving, and spending, you significantly increase the odds that your kids will too. If you need help improving your relationship with your finances, check out She’s on the Money.

In the meantime, it’s time to dive into some of the best tips for teaching kids about money.

1. Kids Need to Learn How to Earn

Ask little kids where they think money comes from, and you’ll get a ton of interesting responses, from the money fairy to mom’s magic plastic card. Kids aren’t born knowing money doesn’t grow on trees.

Teaching kids about money starts with teaching them that it’s something they earn. Offering kids pocket money via an allowance allows them to learn how to budget money. A good rule of thumb is $1 for each year of age per week. So, if your kid’s 7, they get $7 a week. 

But remember you’re teaching them about earning money, so set parameters for their allowance. Everyone needs to pull their weight in the household, so don’t give your kid an allowance for cleaning their room or brushing their teeth (yes, some people do). 

Instead, make it clear that these are expected, basic chores. But provide your child an opportunity to earn extra pocket money by doing additional tasks, like folding the laundry, mopping the floors, or washing the family car.

If they complete a certain number of jobs, they get their full allowance for the week. This practice not only gives kids a feel for earning money but how what they do directly affects the amount of money they earn.

2. Spend, Save, and Give

Another essential part of money lessons for kids is the valuable concept of spending, saving, and giving. It’s one thing to teach your kids about the numbers aspect of money; it’s a whole new ballgame when it comes to teaching behaviours and values.

You don’t want to raise spendthrifts, but you don’t want your mini-mes to turn into mini-misers either. Raising generous kids that appreciate money and know its worth is easier than you think, starting with three jam jars

Scott Pape, better known as the Barefoot Investor, encourages parents to teach their kids about money using fun and relatable methods. He advises labelling each jar as follows: “Splurge Jar,” “Smile Jar,” and “Give Jar (Or as Barefoot refers to it – the brat buster).” 

The jars provide a good visual for kids and help them distinguish between needs versus wants. As kids get money, they divide it between the jars and watch it grow. The Smile Jar enables them to save for something long-term. The splurge jar focuses on what they want right now, and the give jar encourages them to share their good fortune with those in need.

Let your kids check out Scott Pape’s new book, Barefoot Kids, which features 45 inspiring money stories from children. It’s a great resource for kids to learn about money in a way that makes sense to them.

3. Teach Kids About Money Through Play

Research from Brigham Young private research university in the USA suggests that modelling and discussing good money habits with young children dramatically shapes their relationship with money. Therefore, the sooner you start talking with your kids about money, the better. 

And it doesn’t have to be boring or confusing. Kids' work is play, and when it comes to kids and money, they learn a lot through various games and activities.

Here are a few examples of fun money activities for kids:

  • Set up a play store and give your kids pretend money. Children can practise making change, counting money, and deciding on purchases. Assign different prices to your store inventory. This is a great way to teach budgeting for kids because they’ll need to make a choice about what goes in their basket and what needs to stay on the shelf. Kids then carry these skills over into the real world when faced with making purchasing decisions. Do they save longer for that truck or forget about it? Or perhaps they opt to toy-swap it on Sassybae or find one secondhand.

  • Make saving money fun with a fancy piggy bank. Piggy banks for kids have gotten an upgrade over the years. 3D piggybank puzzles come in many colours and sizes and provide a fun way for kids to keep their spare change.

  • Ask kids to help you plan a family outing or upcoming birthday party. They’ll love being able to give their input, but it also gives them a chance to see what things cost.

  • There’s even Junior Monopoly – Bluey Edition that can entertain and educate the little ones.

Show Me the Money!

Teaching kids about money doesn't have to be boring. By incorporating these tips and tricks, you make the process a fun and engaging experience for both you and your mini-mes. Who knows, you might even learn a thing or two in the process!

Benson Tait

Benson Tait

Design . Digital . Fathering . Husbanding . Surviving . Founder

A man who loves design, technology, food and his family of two young girls and a smart gorgeous wife, who is on a mission to make parenting easier and help kids flourish for a happier home.

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