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Finances and Family, Who Is Teaching Your Children About Money?

01/25/2017 12:15PM ● Published by Hood Magazine

By Stephanie Randgaard, CPA

As a mother of three, I have decided to take responsibility for teaching my boys about spending and saving. How about you? I believe it is never too early to start teaching your children to be good stewards of their finances. How should we teach our children about money?

Our boys have had piggy banks since they were very young. Depositing change into their piggy banks started as learning hand-eye coordination, then evolved into learning to take turns as our older boys would alternate who deposited coins. Now I am beginning to introduce the concept of value behind what they are depositing into the piggy bank. I do not believe how you teach financial concepts is important, but rather you do teach your children before society does.

Children, and let’s be honest, adults too, often desire everything on their wish list when it comes to birthdays, holidays and other special occasions. An opportunity cost, by pure definition, is what you give up to obtain something else. In terms of our time, the opportunity cost of choosing to attend your child’s baseball game is not being able to also attend a monthly networking event held at the same time.  As adults, we make these decisions all the time based on what is a higher priority. What if we taught our children the same concept as it relates to money? For example, if you have $100 to spend and you purchase a toy for $80, then the opportunity cost is the toy that you can no longer buy because you don’t have enough money left over. 

Teaching our children about money does not need to be complicated, but it does need to be intentional.  As parents, we want to give our children the best future possible. Why not start with teaching them one of the most valuable skills that you can pass along? If you have not done so already, I encourage you to begin teaching your children about spending and saving.

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