At this point in our lives we’ve raised our own kids and hopefully, the values we struggled to impart before they left home have become part of their family lives. Now they’re raising our grandchildren and like us when we were new parents our kids will try to bring all of their life lessons into the mix. The hard part, at times, at least for me, is to keep my mouth shut not give unasked for advice. Does anyone else have that problem?
This narrows my options to just setting the best example I can no matter the subject matter. When it comes to money and finances. Money does not grow on trees.
- Young children can understand the concept of money. When I take them out and we’re going to buy a little something like an ice cream I give them the money to pay for it. This teaches them money is exchanged for things we want.
- Save all my “change” for grandkids. I split up this money into 3 coin purses for each kid marked 20% for savings, 10% sharing, and all the rest for whatever they want. (with parent’s permission of course) The savings are used for their bigger desires/wants. The sharing can be used to buy things like ice cream, candy bars and other treats for the family on outings or they will deposit it into Salvation Army kettles or other charitable containers found at the checkouts. Elementary school age is a good time to start.
- Demonstrate to the grandkids how to reach a savings goal. Show them how saving X amount of their money each month and in how many months this money will equal an amount needed to buy a computer game, book or whatever.
- When the grandkids are coming for a barbeque, a couple like to help cook. We plan a menu, make a list of needed ingredients, figure out the budget (money to purchase listed items) and go to the store. As we pick things out we discuss pricing, brand names and how to evaluate the best deal.
- Needs versus wants concept is very important throughout life for all of us. As they age and gain understanding there are things associated with my hobbies that reflect needs versus wants which make good subject matter for discussion with my grandkids. Particularly an activity they have an interest in, like fishing for example.
These are just a few examples of actions and conversation points I use to demonstrate how to use money with my grandkids. Actually, I did the same things with their parents as they grew up and remember how I appreciated any support from other adults. As a grandpa, I just wait for the “teachable” moment or when the conversation flows that way. To be effective today’s kids are no different than yesterday’s kids- the brains shut off during “the talk”.
Need more ideas? Download my PDF booklet
“Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees… Teaching Kids about Money”