April is Financial Literacy Month
Did you know that April is National Financial Literacy Month? I think we all know that the economic volatility over the last couple years has been difficult on everyone, and it’s more important than ever that we teach our kids good financial habits so that they are prepared for the future.
DoughMain.com, a free financial education website that helps parents educate their kids about money, recently created the Family Financial Literacy Pledge for parents to sign this April to commit to engage in teachable moments that will help our children learn the skills needed to create bright financial futures. I just signed the Pledge, and I’m looking forward to finding teachable moments throughout our daily lives to help them understand the importance of money matters and saving. Here is a link with more information if you and your family are interested in taking the Pledge: DoughMain.com/TakeThePledge.
My daughter is actually learning about money in school right now–what each coins’ value is and how to count them. But, I haven’t heard her talking anything about the value in terms of spending it wisely. Granted, she’s only in first grade, but I think this lesson can never be started too early.
My son, who’s in fifth grade, has been learning the value of a dollar the hard way. He earns some money here and there for chores and using the chore chart on DoughMain’s website, he can trade in his points for cash if he wants. So I let him spend around $100 of his own money when he had a good report card. He shopped online and I taught him how to find the best deals. But, he was shocked how fast it all went. He says he wishes he would have taken more time making his decisions because it’s going to take him a long time to save up that much money again.
When we go grocery shopping I put the kids in charge of the coupons and they have to decide how to get the best deal. They were shocked how sometimes, even with a coupon, their favorite name brand fruit snacks are actually way overpriced. They decided on a house brand instead. I was so proud. :) They also found this to be common with cereals, granola bars and a few other things.
I have also found that by letting the kids create wish collages, they are more likely to save their money. We cut up a bunch of catalogs and made collages of things we’d like to earn. We hung them in our rooms and see them everyday. It’s nice to have a reminder of what you’re working for and they are so determined! I even find this extremely inspiring.
So, sign the pledge and take a little time to teach your family about smart finances!