To many parents and grandparents, raising responsible children involves teaching them to be financially responsible – and many financial experts say it’s important to start early.
Although an increasing number of schools and other organizations, such as banks, are rolling out financial literacy programs, it’s important to build a foundation of knowledge at home.
By talking to your children or grandchildren about financial matters.
Bring them into family discussions about income in order to teach them about budgeting and planning for the future.
You don’t have to do it alone. There are a number of new websites, books and even games that cater to kids of all ages.
There are also smartphone apps that focus on budgeting and saving.
The Kids Money iPhone app teaches kids about saving for long-term purchases, and the Android Kids Shopping Calc app teaches kids about budgeting by sending them shopping in a virtual store with a specific amount of money.
Local programs may also be available. For example, Boy Scouts can earn a finance-related badge by completing activities such as stock research and shopping comparisons, and the Girl Scouts are planning to roll out 13 finance-related badges with age-specific activities.
For example, a five-year-old will be asked to recognize different coins, while a 13-year-old will be asked to create a budget.
For more intensive training, consider summer camp next year. The Junior Achievement BizTown summer camp has children ages 10 to 14 create a simulated economy. They work at pretend jobs, such as bank teller; earn money; make bank deposits; pay rent; and balance their checkbooks. The camp costs $225 to $269 per week.
More information is available at www.ja.org/Programs.