1. Use coin banks to help young children learn how to identify coins and count money. Understanding the value of money usually takes place around the age of 9, but you can start early by simply encouraging your younger children to recognize the differences between coins. A simple sorting game with containers for different coins can entertain a 3-6 year-old for quite some time!
  2. Include your children in monthly home accounting tasks. School-aged children can begin by arranging your checks by check number while the adult marks off the cancelled checks.
  3. Giving a weekly allowance to older children offers a chance to learn how to budget, save and value money. Help your children to understand how to budget by giving them financial responsibilities to be included in their allowance, such as paying for their own school lunch. Be understanding and have alternatives such as short-term loans for when your child makes a mistake and comes up short!
  4. Teach your children the reality of debt. “A penny saved is a penny earned” is a valuable lesson and will instill a deep sense of financial responsibility in your children.
  5. When helping your child to create savings and a budget, label different containers. Make suggestions for the containers, for example: “Spend,” “Save,” and “Share.” Remember that children have a different experience of time, and need to see results more quickly than adults. Seeing quick results will give children satisfaction, as will the experience of spending wisely and donating to others.
  6. When the “Save” container fills up, take a trip to the Credit Union. Let your child fill out the deposit form, and watch their savings grow! You can create a simple chart at home that shows the increase in their savings with short-term and long-term goals.