Here are some tips for parents to help their children learn good financial habits.
AGES 4 to 7
— Assign real or play money values to tasks or extra chores. Children can later use the money for rewards like staying up 10 minutes later or a movie night with popcorn.
— Set aside a decorated container to save money for purchases.
AGES 8 to 12
— Talk about different saving options and accounts that pay interest.
— While grocery shopping, compare prices among brands and have children practice estimating what the total bill will be.
— Help children create an imaginary bank account where they can receive income and pay costs while recording the money going in and out of the account. Review the balance at the end of each month.
AGES 13 and up
— Create a budget as if teens were living on their own and talk about summer job options.
— Once teens begin working, help them open a checking and savings account so they learn to use the accounts.
— Discuss the importance of having good credit and how to get it.
— Visit car dealership Web sites to show teens how to estimate payments, maintenance expenses and gas costs for various vehicles.
— Discuss the difference between wants and needs.
Source: Indiana Youth Institute
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