The new school year has begun — it is that time again when parents and kids alike anticipate some additional expenditures from back-to-school family finance and shopping activities. It is also an opportunity to teach your kids some smart money habits. Here are five fun financial tips to help your family succeed in budgeting for the new school year:
Take the opportunity to teach your kids about smart shopping habits. As both parents and kids shop together for back-to-school clothes and supplies, it is a great time to maximize the learning experience. Together parents and children can strategize how best to purchase items on the shopping list and how to bargain hunt. Comparing prices and discount offers can become a fun game for the whole family to participate in, just to see who can arrive at the lowest cost for a much-needed item. Children can become better informed about how to use coupons as well as loyalty program reward points. For more back-to-school family finance fun, teach your kids about the different advantages and limitations of brick-and-mortar stores as well as of online shopping sites. Likewise reveal how books and textbooks can be purchased from used bookstores or even as digital copies – with each type having its own designated assets and constraints, too. Help your child learn about choices when it comes to shopping so that he or she becomes a more informed consumer who is mindful about both budgeting and conservative spending.
Children can improve their arithmetic and mathematical skills as they aggregate shopping deals. Combining coupons and reward points to arrive at a great discount price is a wonderful way for young ones to learn about mathematics as part of your back-to-school family finance activities. In fact, children can brush up on addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimal values, fractions, and a host of other computational lessons while on the lookout for purchase values and sales.
Open a savings account with your kids to teach them positively about banking. Besides having that trusted piggy bank at home to deposit coins into, it is also advisable to open a bank savings account for your kids. How is this a worthwhile back-to-school family finance activity? This allows your child to be more financially aware of money, which is a positive effect. Indeed, LearnVest has documented that a University of Kansas study found that: “Regardless of family income, children who have early access to savings accounts accumulate more assets—an average of $2,000 compared to $100 for those who did not have a savings account as a child–and are four times more likely to invest in stocks as adults.”
Teach Your Kids How to Perform Basic Banking Tasks. After opening a savings account for your child, make sure you walk him or her through the process of depositing money into the account. And another back-to-school family finance activity involves demonstrating how to use an ATM. Even explain the basics of earning salaries and budgeting. More importantly, have your kids learn about how to prioritize where money is concerned. Starting your child early with these financial life lessons will be a valuable introduction to financial literacy. A further resource for your children to learn more on banking can be found at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) website.
Bond as a family over conversations about financial responsibility. Every moment you talk and share with your child is a bonding moment. The same applies to when you discuss financial responsibility with your child. Teach him or her how to assess needs versus wants, how to strategically save for a long-term goal, and how to budget well. There are teachable moments even as you discuss how allowance can be used, how to accumulate earnings, and how “gifts” from Santa and the Tooth Fairy can be leveraged for smart savings. Far better, lead by example – when you are a good role model, your child will emulate you, even as it relates to financial activities.
Overall, make family finance (and more seasonally apropos back-to-school family finance) a fun, engaging, and positive activity full of bonding moments, positive feedback, and praise. Starting to learn about money and finance in “age-appropriate” lessons will constructively influence your kids’ financial education, especially their future net worth.
** All images above originated from Pixabay, and then were modified by Mariecor Agravante.