From the New York Times recent article “Too Young for Finance? Think Again” comes practical advice on teaching children the basics of saving and spending. While other groups have offered free financial advice for children in the past, a very influential spokesperson has now added his voice to the refrain.
Elmo, the preschool darling of Sesame Street, now offers a series of online videos called “for me, for you, for later” featuring favorite characters helping kids learn how to become a money responsible adults.
The landing page for the videos instructs parents that starting early with these lessons can be simple: “Guide him in making choices about what to buy; create a savings jar together; or talk about what it means to spend, share, and save.”
At my house, we use a special piggy bank that is divided into four compartments for Save, Spend, Donate and Invest. You can make similar savings banks at home by decorating a series of small jars for saving money in — your child can even list what they are saving for and where they plan to donate right on the container to reinforce their goals!
And if you doubt whether you really need to be worrying your preschool child about financial matters, read some current musings from a twenty-something who wished her dad had shared his savvy financial-know-how earlier.
Do you have any tips about how to help kids get smart about money? Share them in the comments!