Your kids are watching you. You’ve heard the saying ‘more is caught than taught’, right? Well, that’s true of saving and investing, too. It’s never too early to start modeling good money habits, teaching kids about money, and getting them involved. By learning early, children can grow up more financially prepared and savvy. If children know how to save and invest like ‘the rich do,’ by the time they are 21 they will have established good habits to help them accrue and manage wealth throughout their lives.
Tip 1. Build The Base
The beginning of saving for kids starts with the use of the piggy bank as early as age three. Have some fun: get four piggy banks and teach your kids the four areas they need to learn: Saving, spending, donating, and investing. It’s an easy way to begin a child’s financial journey and allows them to make decisions about how their money is being used. It also allows you a chance to help them see and discuss some of the unintended consequences of putting all their money in just ‘one basket’.
Tip 2. Keep It Simple
Once your child is old enough to understand companies like Disney or Apple and they start having opinions on these company’s products, you can introduce the concept of investing. Investing is buying a little portion of a company you like and then watching that company do a good job for their customers over time, and hopefully the value of the money invested grows. At this stage, investing just needs to be understood as using money to make money. Don’t bog them down with the nuts and bolts of investing yet!
Tip 3. Play The Game
There are age specific apps and computer games built for kids that allows them to invest and see the results of their stock picks. The one I like the best is StarBanks Adventure, a simple game where each child gets an imaginary $10,000 to spend in the stock market. A spreadsheet of sorts is utilized to track the name of the stock, its share price, date, and number of shares purchased with an investment total at the bottom. Then periodically enter a new date and share price column to track whether the investments are growing or shrinking. Playing like this creates a space for you and your child to discuss the rules of investing with no risk. Making it a game now will help them associate positive feelings and ideas around money, positioning them for success later.
Kate Hyland Mercer is a Financial Advisor for Ferris Wheel Financial, Inc. She can be reached at:
417 Commercial Court Suite F, Venice, FL 34292
941.483.3600 / Kate@FerrisWheelFinance.com
Advisory services are offered by Ferris Wheel Finance, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor in the State of Florida. This article is for information only and should not be considered advice.