As your kids prepare to go back to school this year, you may be thinking about the usual: what clothes they need, which classes or activities they should sign up for, and how you can ensure their academic success. But if one topic is often overlooked in these conversations, it’s financial literacy.
It’s no secret that money plays a massive role in our lives today — from everyday expenses to long-term planning for their futures. That's why it's so important for kids of all ages to have a good understanding of personal finance and basic economic principles before they head off to college or the workforce. And there's no better time to focus on this than the back to school season!
Financial literacy can help your kids make smart financial decisions in the future. Studies have shown that students who are taught basic economic principles and money-management skills are better prepared to make choices about their finances — from saving for retirement to budgeting for day-to-day expenses. Studies also show that key financial behaviors and understandings are set by age seven. Beginning to learn financial literacy when you're earning your first paycheck isn't as helpful as beginning before.
The good news is, teaching them sound financial habits doesn’t have to be a chore. Here are just a few fun ways you can help your kids become more financially savvy:
Create a budget together. Have your child create a list of all the items they need for school, from textbooks to supplies, and then calculate how much it will cost in total. It’s an easy way to demonstrate the importance of budgeting.
Give them an allowance. Think of it as a mini job and teach your kids the value of earning their own money — and who knows, maybe they’ll even learn the concept of delayed gratification by saving up for something special.
Financial literacy is important no matter the amount of money anyone has. You can have your kids open a savings account or start a piggy bank fund. This could be a great way for them to understand the power of compound interest and the benefits of setting aside money for future investments. When we earn money, we can either spend, save, or donate. Not only learning how to make those decisions, but practice a balanced allocation of them helps build our financial instincts.
Once your kids have a good grasp of the basics, you can encourage them to take their financial education even further. Have them explore different career paths and how what they learn this back-to-school season applies to their future. Encourage them to take online courses related to personal finance. You may even consider taking a class together!
FitMoney's $uperSquad online, choose-your-journey program is a great option for grades K-6 to explore financial decision-making in the "real world." Across nine modules covering financial topics from investing to budgeting, students can help the $uperSquad as they venture through Fitonia to learn how learn, earn, and save!
Classrooms around the country are logging onto the $uperSquad this fall - join them today by registering for free at http://supersquad.fitmoney.org.
Financial literacy is a valuable skill to have and one that your kids can use throughout their lives. Take the time to help them build a strong foundation now, so they’ll be empowered to make smart financial decisions in the future.
No matter what lifestyle you lead, financial education should be a priority for everyone. As a parent, it's up to you to ensure your kids have the knowledge they need to make sound investments and plan for their future. So don't forget to add financial literacy to your back-to-school list – your kids will thank you for it later!