Evaluations returned from DuTrac’s recent financial literacy fair reflected 22.5% of students thought core financial literacy skills should be taught by parents while 16% felt financial literacy should be taught in the classroom. The best approach is most likely a combination of both by sharing the responsibility of teaching a holistic approach – to satisfy present and future needs. Teaching children financial literacy skills can be challenging. Below are a few tips to help make learning easier:
- A practical first step is “show and tell.” Show and explain how to earn, spend and track money. The mystery of managing money can be greatly reduced by this hands-on approach to teaching. It may also help parents or the teacher better understand their own money management skills.
- Unfortunately, many areas of personal finance aren’t very visible, therefore it is especially important to talk to children about finances. Children will not learn about managing money if the topic is avoided. In some cases, financial topics may require more in-depth discussion and openness. Be open to all questions.
- Let your children be involved in personal finances to foster a true understanding of how to manage money. Most people require an active learning experience to truly understand a topic, for example:
- Start by teaching the difference between a penny, nickel, dime and quarter;
- Show children how to earn money by having them complete basic, age-appropriate chores; and,
- As the coins start adding up, give them the option to buy a toy, save or share.
Imparting financial wisdom to children is a challenging process that should take years – even as adults we still have lessons to learn about money management. So, parents, if you’re feeling inadequate about teaching your kids smart money skills, you’re not alone. While the road ahead may seem challenging, it’s important to take it one step at a time and do your best to instill at an early age good money habits. Find educational games and articles at DuTrac’s Savasaurus Kids Club or feel free to contact a DuTrac financial services consultant with any questions.
DuTrac Community Credit Union offers the Savasaurus Kids Club to all young members, age 12 and under, to encourage good savings habits. Begin your child’s financial literacy journey… one that will take them far beyond the limits of a traditional savings account.