I never want my 4-year-old son to go into debt like I did, so I’m teaching him 3 money-management lessons

family of four

My parents did the best they could to teach me about money, but I still ended up with some debt.
I have a 4-year-old son now, and I want to give him the tools he needs to be a good steward of his money in the future.
I’m teaching him that money has value, how much things cost, and the concept of “opportunity cost” and making financial choices.
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Despite having what I consider to be pretty awesome parents who taught me right from wrong, I still managed to get myself into debt. I’ve since come through and learned to be a better steward of my money by budgeting, investing, and saving, but I don’t want my 4-year-old son to make the same mistakes I did.

My parents taught me financial concepts, but they were mostly related to accounting and business rather than personal money management (my mom was a bookkeeper and my dad ran his own business), so I didn’t know a lot about credit or saving. I don’t blame them for anything, though — money is still pretty taboo for most families.

As a parent myself, I want to give my son the confidence to be able to manage his money well. Even though he’s only 4 years old, I’m still working on giving him a head start in learning about the concept of money and some simple money-management skills.

Here’s what I’m doing.

1. Showing him that money is an exchange of value

Sometimes we forget that money, in the simplest terms, is a thing that we exchange for other goods and services. In other words, it’s a form of value that we exchange for other things of value.

I realize that this concept is pretty hard for a 4 year old to grasp, but I’m starting him off on the right foot by making sure he sees me paying for items with cash or a credit card. I’ll make it a point to tell him we’re going to pay, or the “pay place” as he likes to call it. I point out things like the register, the cashier, and the PIN pad where I insert the card.

When he was smaller, he would watch me stick my credit card into the PIN pad, but now he enjoys the act of paying. It’s actually pretty fun to watch him squeal when the buzzing noise comes …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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