It is important that children learn about money: where it comes from, why it is important, and how to use it responsibly. Even young children can begin to manage their money. If you approach it correctly, the process can be fun. It is a good idea to put money in separate containers. Plastic jars are a safe choice, and they allow children to see their money growing. Label three jars with the purpose for each. One is SAVE, one is SPEND, and one is SHARE. When your child gets an allowance, receives a money gift, or earns money, let him or her help you determine how much goes into each jar. You might consider adding a percentage to the portion your child saves so he or she will begin to understand the concept of earning interest.
One excellent resource is ThreeJars.com. The site is designed for children ages five to thirteen. It uses graphics, avatars, and individual online accounts to make money management fun. Another resource is Kids’ Finance. The site was founded by Hollis Page Harman and is tied to her book Money $ense for Kids. Kids of all ages are encouraged to ask questions about finances and saving money. The site stars a male and female character (Penny and Bill), so it appeals to both boys and girls. There are money games and activities to engage children’s interest. Parents can teach young adults ages 18+ to use a credit card. Together, look for a credit card that has a low interest rate and no monthly fee. Use sites like Bankrate, Creditcards.com, or Credit.com to determine the best card for your teen’s situation. Finally, remember that you are the best model for your children to learn about finances. Let them see you manage your money –saving, spending, and sharing.