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Learning how to budget money can be a skill that is taught as early as kindergarten. Giving your child good building block for spending, and earning when they are young will help the be more responsible in the future as well as help them to build a slid foundations for financial frugality. While kindergarteners may not understand the full concept of budgeting money, the basic concepts can be taught with a few ideas:
- You may want to buy or rent the book “The Bernstein Bears’ Trouble with Money” from your local library. This book talks about how the child bears spend their money the minutes it reaches their hands. Like a good parent, the father bear worries that his children aren’t paying attention to the right things in life. After reading the book with your child, discuss the book in detail about ways to earn money, how to spend money based on wants and needs, and properly saving money.
- Purchase play money. Decide with your child a list of “play” rewards in the form of money for certain things, such as good behavior, picking up toys, etc. All through the week, create chances to earn the play money according to what the two of you previously decided upon. After the week is over, set up a pretend store in an area of your home with various items you’ve previously purchased for prizes (trinkets, stickers, etc. – things you would find in a prize box at school). The prizes should be of differing values. The higher ticket prizes should take more time to save for, maybe around two weeks. This way, children are learning how to save money of a specific amount for something. As your child is “buying” the item from you, have him/her count their proceeds aloud so that he/she is learning proper counting, as well saving and budgeting.
- The idea of budgeting could also be incorporated by collecting coins. To begin the collection, have one of each denomination and purchase a display book to put the money in – he/she will learn that hot all money has to be spent. Encourage him/her to watch for coins on the sidewalk or in other places they go so that they can add coins to their collection.
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By teaching your children the value of money early on, your child will have the foundation for being able to manage their money wisely as they get older. You will be able to gauge your child’s grasp of money after reading the story and doing the first activity. When you feel your child has a basic understanding, you can move forward with the other activities described above.