KIDS FINANCIAL EDUCATION PROGRAM
Topic 1: Back to School Budget
An important lesson you can teach your kids about money is to spend it according to our values. Setting and working with a budget helps kids understand that money is a finite resource. When we save, pay our required expenses, then use what’s left to enjoy our own version of a good life we can be sure we will succeed financially. Ask your child what makes a purchase valuable to them, and why. Peer pressure can be intense at this age, especially for material things. This simple discussion can help your child navigate these conversations with their friends.
Topic 2: Save Money for a Rainy Day
A simple way to save money is to allocate it to longer term (larger item) savings, spending, investing and giving. Use this calculator to help your child see how much their allowance will allow them to allocate to each category in a year. You may wish to help your child open a bank account of their own for their long-term savings category. Some banks offer free banking for children under age 12 or 13.
Topic 3: What is Investing?
You need not be an expert to encourage your child to become interested in investing. One way to help your child understand investing is to discuss a company that they are familiar with. Search for this company online and discuss together whether this company sounds like it is solid or risky. What competition does this company have? Can you find any information about their management? Try checking out some financial history on this company through Google Finance.
Topic 4: Exploring the Entrepreneurial Spirit
Fostering a spirit of entrepreneurship will help your child see solutions where other people see problems. As our economy shifts, they will be better prepared to tackle the world of work, whatever that looks like! Help them turn ideas into money, help them create a business plan, ask a friend to mentor them, or simply visit a local business and be curious together.
Topic 5: All About Priorities
This is the ideal age to help your child learn to spend wisely. Once a budget has been completed, your child will likely have some items they look forward to purchasing. Give them the opportunity to save for a few “bigger ticket” items with money they receive from their allowance or money they earn. Help them understand that spending this money may mean they need to wait to spend on something else. Help them make a list and prioritize their purchases. Discuss why they have prioritized the items they did. Next, sit with them and look up approximate prices to buy these items new, then search a site that may allow them to purchase second hand. Discuss these options together.
Topic 6: The Magic of Compound Interest
Compound interest has been called the “Eighth Wonder of the World” by Albert Einstein and it’s easy to see why. Help your child see that simply letting your money grow over time yields major results. This one simple concept is often overlooked. Notice how the most impactful growth occurs towards the end of the penny doubling, while very little growth happens early. If your child can begin saving early, they will surely enjoy the magic of compounding as adults.
Topic 7: Borrowing Can Be Bothersome
Debt is all around us and can sometimes be a useful solution. Most people are going to purchase a home by taking on a mortgage. Help your child avoid taking on debt that provides no value or misunderstanding the true cost of borrowing. If your child asks to borrow money from you, it can be a great opportunity to charge interest and discuss with them whether the added interest cost was worthwhile, or if saving their money may have been a better choice.
Topic 8: Giving is Great
It’s inspiring for kids to see other children make a difference. We all want our children to be happy, successful and grateful. Gratitude grows with practice and is a contributor to happiness. As a family, discuss charitable organizations that matter to each member. Look some charities up on the Charity Intelligence Canada website. Talk about why it is important to do your research in relation to supporting charitable organizations.