How do you teach kids about such an abstract concept as money? Aidan loves money and realizes that it is used to buy things, but he doesn’t understand that money is something you earn. He still loves finding coins and putting them in his piggy bank, though he still calls everything pennies. Anthony and I have still not decided if an allowance is something we are going to do with Aidan, and what that might entail. Do you tie it to chores, or do you get it no matter what?
As Aidan is only three he is still a little fuzzy on the concepts of delayed gratification and what he can get at the store. He wants all kinds of things when we go to Toys R Us, but I have always tried to do a walk through fairly often without getting anything. He is learning that while he wants he may not necessarily get. I am glad he is this way because when we were back home in May we went shopping with his grandmother for a dump truck. We went through the TRU and looked at all kinds of things and once we picked out his (reasonable priced) Tonka dump truck and grader he didn’t want anything else. As much as his grandmother tried he didn’t want anything else.
I think at this age the main thing I want to teach Aidan about money is that some people don’t have as much and that he can’t get everything he wants. With this in mind I am going to get one of those Spend, Save, Give banks and find a good charity to use the give money for. I am also planning to live by example a little more. We got Aidan a Social Insurance Card and when the new baby is born we will get one as part of all the other paperwork we need to do. This is important because we need this identification to get a RESP started for their education. As much as I want Aidan and little sibling to understand saving for something, if we can possibly get them to university or trade school without a student loan we will. So the save portion will go into their education funds, the give to charity and the spend to something they really want.
If you want more tips or questions about how other parents plan to teach or have taught their children about money check out the Parent Bloggers Network blog blast sponsered by Capital One. Write your own post about this topic linking both and you could win an iPhone.