Summer is the perfect time to start talking to your kids about money as life is less structured, and you have more time to slow down and have these important conversations. And don’t worry–money conversations do not have to be boring! Position them correctly and you can have fun while teaching your kids good, life-long money habits.
1. Set Clear Goals and Make It Fun
Over a favorite family meal, we discuss how we’re going to use our family money in three areas – what will Save our money for; what will Spend our money on; and who will we Share our money with? If your children are older than 6, have them create their own summertime money goals. For example; Save–for a new bike; Spend–during a trip to the ice cream store; Share–with a local charity, such as the humane society where you can deliver your donation in person. Once your kids have their goals, help them find fun ways to earn money. For example, post jobs in the house, a lemonade stand, etc.
Fun Activity: Make goal-setting a fun event and your kids will no longer dread the word “goals”. Celebrate achievements and create friendly, sibling competitions on who can reach their goals first.
2. Slow Down and Have Regular Money Conversations
Some of my best money conversations with the girls happen during our normal activities. For example, take your kids shopping. Have them help you prepare the shopping list to create a clear understanding on what the family “needs” are and where “wants” fit in. At the store, be sure to talk through your purchases with your kids instead of making internal comparisons. For example, why you buy a name
brand vs a store brand for one item and not another.
Activity Idea: See how much money you can save on groceries for the summer. Make a list of needed items and search for coupons and specials. Use the money saved for something fun.
3. Make Your Goals Visual
Post family and individual goals where everyone can see them. You can cut out pictures from magazines or print pictures from the internet to create a vision board for your goals. Set up jars or envelopes for their Save, Spend and Share goals. When they earn money, discuss with them how they want to allocate their money towards their goals.
Activity Idea: Have you kids decorate their jars or envelopes with images of the things they plan to save, spend and share their money on or with.