Someone once told me, if you want to keep kids from drowning, don’t put a lifejacket on them, teach them to swim. Give them the gift of a life skill that will not only prevent tragedy, but perhaps lead to a lifetime of exercise and enjoyment. A lifejacket teaches them to rely on someone to be there for them, whereas if you teach them to swim, they learn to be there for themselves.
The same can be said for financial literacy. Financial literacy is just like swimming – it’s a skill that can be a life-saver for those who have it. You do far more good teaching them financial literacy than you do by sheltering them from the trials and tribulations that come with thinking about money.
Let’s face it – thinking about money isn’t fun a lot of the time, especially if you’re stressed about it yourself. You may not want to pass the stress of thinking about money to your children, and therefore don’t feel equipped to teach financial literacy.
First, you are worthy of doing the job. All you need is the will to get started. Just like you don’t have to be a world-class swimmer to introduce water safety to your kids, you can teach financial literacy to your kids even if you don’t necessarily feel like you are great at it yourself.
Second, you don’t have to go it alone. I’ve found some great resources available in multiple formats to help you give your kids the “financial swimming lessons” they need to thrive in the world. You never know, maybe you both will learn something along the way! I will walk you through some of my favorites below.
Busy Kid is a “chore and allowance” app and website that allows you to turn their allowance into an electronic chore chart that gives kids access to their own Visa debit card, real stock investments, and charitable donations. BusyKid.com.
Money Munchkids produces grade specific workbooks and curriculum dedicated to teaching kids between K-3rd grade financial literacy and money management. MoneyMunchkids.com.
Sammy Rabbit has been bringing financial literacy for young children to the community for 20 years now. They provide story and activity books for ages 3 – 9 as well as musical sing-a-longs and skits on their website. SammyRabbit.com.
The Centsables are six fearless superheroes whose greatest power is to help you make smart financial decisions for the rest of your life. You can learn from their adventures via 13 DVD episodes, activity books, comic books and even a video game app for smartphones. TheCentsables.com.
RICH KID SMART KID
Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad is the #1 personal finance book of all time. He shares his wisdom for kids through free games and age appropriate activities. RichKidSmartKid.com.
The most important tool is a will to have conversations about money. Hopefully, these resources help you feel more comfortable dipping your feet into the financial literacy waters with your kids.