Talking with your child about money can go smoother if you keep the conversation age appropriate. The conversation starters and activities here can help you find the words.
Conversations about shopping
- Ask your child to identify different coins and their value
- Discuss things your child enjoys that are free, such as playing with a friend or going to the library
- Point out to your child items that cost money, such as ice cream, gas for the car or clothes
- When you're out shopping, point out essentials such as food and clothing, and ask your child to describe items he may want but are optional
- Talk about how your family decides what to buy and what to pass up. Which is more important, buying cookies or fresh fruit? Soda or milk?
- Think out loud about your budget and how you mentally divide up a finite amount of money into sections for food, rent or house payments, clothes and optional items
- Include your child in some of your small decisions. For example, at the grocery store, think out loud about why you pick one item over another
- Give your child two dollars and let him choose which fruit to buy
- When shopping with your child, ask yourself aloud: Do I need this item? Can I borrow it? Would it cost less somewhere else?
Activities about shopping
- Surprise Money Gift
Pretend with your child they've just received a surprise gift of $100. Ask them what they'd do with the money. Then, talk about whether your child was going to save the money, use it for something they needed, use it for something they wanted, or something else. Talk about whether they would've spent the money differently if they had worked to earn the $100 or if they had borrowed it?
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This material is provided for educational and information purposes only. It is not a replacement for the guidance or advice of an accountant, certified advisor or otherwise qualified professional.