Segment 1 - Preschool & Kindergarten
#1 - FOSTER AWARENESS
• Children learn so much through observation.
• This may not be the age for detailed lessons, but this is a great age to introduce broad concepts.
• Children may begin to understand the difference between needs and desires.
• Patience and restraint developed in other areas should translate to responsible financial behavior.
#2 - SOW THE SEEDS FOR LIFE-LONG HABITS
• As adults we work and earn money. As adults, we also should be saving and giving in addition to spending our money.
• These are the habits that we should be conveying to our children during teachable moments.
• Explain the reasons that mommy and/or daddy go to work each day.
• A piggy bank is an effective and time-tested teaching tool for saving money.
• Involve children in your family's charitable giving.
#3 - ASSOCIATE RESULTS AND REWARDS
• This is a great age to set goals and establish rewards.
• Although an allowance may not yet be appropriate, it isn't too early to associate compensation with work.
• You may consider tracking progress toward acquiring an item that your child desires.
#4 - INVOLVE CHILDREN IN PURCHASE TRANSACTIONS
• Teachable moments occur each time you are at a cash register with children.
• Children will quickly observe the exchange that occurs during the purchase transaction.
• This is a great time to explain the need to pay for items before we can take them home.
• When children want something in a store and the answer is "no," you may consider explaining that we don't have enough money for that item today and we need to save for it.
• Let your child hand over the payment and receive the change from the cashier.
#5 - MAKE THE PROCESS ENTERTAINING
• It is easy to integrate the building blocks of financial habits if they are part of your daily activities.
• Children love to explore uncharted territory. Make financial lessons fun like any new adventure.
• An entertaining and educational approach will help maintain a child's interest.
Christopher J. Harper, CPA, MBA
Hungerford, Aldrin, Nichols & Carter, P.C.
2910 Lucerne Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546