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Teaching Children About Money - Week 2

Father teaching daughter about money

Welcome to week 2 of our series on how to teach children about money. Cambrian staff contributed some excellent ideas, which we have been sharing this month. Here are some more tips and stories about how to teach your children about finances.

Get them an ATM card

One of the biggest recommendations I give to members is to get an ATM card early for their children because when they are young, they have control over their child’s finances and can help them learn about spending and how to use their ATM cards. When the child is 12-14, they are shopping by themselves and parents no longer have control.

We also spoke to our children about the money they earned. Some was for spending, some was for savings and some was for giving away. This was a moral issue for us and not necessarily for everyone, but we wanted to teach them that there were others who had less.

- Sheila Mitchell-Dueck, Financial Services Officer

Give them an allowance tied to their age

I have taught my kids about money by giving them an allowance tied to their age.  When they were small I paid them in cash so that they could see and hold and count their money.  They had 3 allowance containers each; one for spending money, one for saving for bigger items, and one for charity. Now that they are older (9, 15, and 17) we do everything electronically.  They each have basic chores that they need to complete to earn their basic allowance, and they can earn extra money by completing extra chores listed on our shared to-do list app (Wunderlist) – when they mark a chore as completed I get a notification and on “payday” I add up everything extra they did to pay them their bonus.

The two older kids both took on a flyer route at age nine to save up more quickly for a computer, and the youngest made the thrifty choice at the same age to buy a used computer from his older brother as a flyer route was not an option for him.  The oldest now has a job and she moves at least half of each paycheque into her savings account using Cambrian Online so that she can earn more interest and save for her university books and transportation - what we taught seems to have sunk in!

- Sharon Meade, Admin System Support Representative

My kids are 6 and 10, and this year I started to give them an allowance for doing chores each week. If these things are not done then they don’t get their allowance.

When we go to a store and they want something, they use their own money to buy it.  If they don’t have enough for the item they want, they don’t get it and have to save for it.

They are now figuring out the value of a dollar, and now when they look at toys they check the prices to see if they can afford it.

- Linda Hamilton, Balancing Clerk

Use web resources

I have shared the website, Get Smarter about Money with Cambrian staff, as well as my daughter to teach her about financial literacy when she was in high school.

- Darell J. Claeys, Vice-President Retail Sales & Service

Teach them about money through play

We have a 3 year old at home so we are in the early stage of teaching him about money. We bought him a little cash register and we often will play store with him, using play money. This register does have a credit card option so we made up a credit card statement that comes in the mail and has to be paid as well. We noticed very early that if we stated we didn’t have any money for something, he would suggest we use our card, so we wanted to teach him quickly that even the card has to be paid. We try to incorporate the fact that sometimes we just don’t have enough money to pay for the items so we go to work to earn some money.  I also let him see money often, from playing with coins to actually paying for items at the store. This is something he enjoys doing but it is also teaching him that there is a real exchange that takes place.

- David Ellis, Commercial Account Manager

Put half of their gift money into a savings account

Something that I have done with our children to teach them about money is that they must save half of any gift money they receive.  So when the kids were small my husband and I would put half of the gift money in their account and the other half we would use to purchase them something to have as a keepsake from the gift giver.  Now that they’re older (12 and 14) they can choose what to buy but they still have to put half in their account.  I want the kids to learn the value of saving, so that they become responsible consumers.

- Isabel Bravo, Member Services Representative