In many families money is a taboo topic. But you can help your children and grandchildren learn financial lessons that will last a lifetime by looking for teachable moments in your daily life that naturally bring up the topic of money. Here are some examples of teachable moments to help you get started:
When depositing your paycheck or verifying direct deposit via online statement, talk to your kids about:
- How your paycheck is deposited into your checking or savings account. If you use direct deposit, explain how this electronic method is convenient and secure.
- Budgeting some of your paycheck to pay for things like the housing, food and clothing.
- Saving a portion of each paycheck for emergencies and to build a nest egg for future expenses like college tuition and retirement.
When grocery shopping, talk to your kids about:
- The difference between a need and a want — milk is a need, candy is a want.
- Using coupons, buying in bulk, and other ways that you save money on groceries, etc.
When using your credit card, talk to your kids about:
- Paying for these purchases each month when the credit card statement comes in the mail.
- How using a credit card is like taking out a small loan for each purchase.
When giving children an allowance, talk to your kids about:
- Setting up a budget. For example, decide how much to save, spend or share with others in need or a cause that you care about.
- Setting a financial goal, such as buying a new bike, and figuring out how to achieve it.
When you pay bills each month, talk to your kids about:
- How a check or online payment is taking money out of your account at the bank to pay the bill.
- Keeping track of the checks you’ve written and the online payments you’ve set up in the check register so that you don’t spend more than you have in your account.
When using an ATM or paying for a purchase with your debit card, talk to your kids about:
- How the money is coming from your account at the bank.
- Recording withdrawals and debit card purchases in your check register so that you don’t overdraw your account.