Children know how to spend money, but do they know how to earn it, save it and invest it?
The lessons of sensible money management are learned early in life. For better or for worse, parents are the first teachers of how to be penny-wise, and kids will tend to follow their example.
While teaching your children about money may sound as exciting as cleaning your barbecue, here are a handful of resources that make it easy, natural and fun.
Watching a bank account accrue interest and balancing a checkbook are empowering to school-age children.
Young Americans Bank is a savings bank just for kids, offering savings and checking accounts, credit cards and loans for children ages newborn to 21. The average savings customer is 9 years old and has a balance of $260.
The Colorado bank caters to mail-in customers from across the country and is helpful for young savers because monthly service fees are waived, in most cases, and the minimum balance requirements are small.
For more information, write: Young Americans Bank, 311 Steele Street, Denver, CO 80206, or call (303) 321-2265.
Children, ages 4 to 10, will enjoy a video called “Learning to Save” which teaches valuable concepts of saving, sharing and spending.
Siggy and Miggy, two colorful piggy banks, escape from a toy store and are eventually adopted by children in a school classroom. Aided by the teacher, Siggy and Miggy help viewers understand basic financial concepts through music and animation.
To reinforce the lessons, the video includes a guide of activity ideas for parents to do with their children. Young kids can play a coin game, make a job chart or design their own dollar bill. Older children can learn to write a check, create a budget, or start a small business.
The 30-minute video is $19.95 plus shipping. To order, call Raindrop Entertainment at (888) 424-3300.
Zillions is a bi-monthly magazine which provides teens and pre-teens with information and advice on goods, services and finances. The publication is filled with articles, Q & A sections, and tips and trends so young adults can learn to earn, invest and spend money wisely.
For a one-year subscription ($16 for six issues) send your name, address and check, payable to: Zillions, P.O. Box 54861, Boulder, CO 80322 ; or call (800) 234-2078.
A terrific book for parents on how to educate children about money is “Kiplinger’s Money-Smart Kids” by Janet Bodnar (Kiplinger Books, $12.95).
Parents of preschoolers through teenagers will learn how to motivate kids to save, invest and earn money. There are tips on how to set up and manage an allowance and chores system. Topics also include how to teach children about the stock market, steps toward affording college, ways that teens can control spending and credit usage, and more.
Bodnar is senior editor of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine. She offers practical financial advice in a humorous style and peppers the book with answers to parents’ questions.
“Kiplinger’s Money-Smart Kids” is available through B. Dalton Bookseller stores, Auntie’s Bookstore in Spokane, and the Book and Game Company in Couer d’Alene.