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Everyone can benefit from learning great financial habits early in life. This is why parents should start to teach kids about smart money management skills as early as kindergarten, when they’re beginning to learn other basics such as reading and writing.
When you allow your kids to develop the right financial mindset at an early stage, they’ll have the skills necessary to become financially successful later in life. Molding them into great money managers at an early age will lead them toward making the right financial choices as they mature. Even if they make mistakes, they’ll know how to correct those mistakes and avoid damaging their financial future.
So, what lessons from kindergarten can we apply to help our little ones learn about managing money? Surprisingly, there are many, if you take some time to analyze them. Let’s look at a few.
1. Look Both Ways Before Crossing the Street
Life comes at you fast, and being aware of your surroundings helps you to make good decisions. Just like looking both ways before you cross the street keeps you from being blindsided, so does understanding the whole picture before you make a decision. Many times, decisions are made on impulse and not through careful thought and analysis. When it comes to money, this can mean making an expensive or damaging decision. Helping kids apply this basic concept to making money decisions could go a long way toward helping them make better financial decisions in the future.
2. There Are No Silly Questions
Children should be encouraged to ask questions and challenge answers they don’t understand. This encourages children to keep an open mind, seek information when they need it, and not always accept answers at face value. These are all principles children can apply when learning to manage money. Today, in the digital age, information is readily available for anyone willing to look for it. Teach your kids that every question has an answer, so they should actively seek the information they need to help them make good decisions.
3. Always Return What You Borrow
Borrowing money is a necessity, especially when buying big-ticket items such as a car or home. It’s fine to borrow money when it’s needed for a strategic and necessary reason, but you should be focused on paying it back as soon as possible. You should never borrow money from anyone, whether a bank or a friend, without a plan to pay it back promptly.
4. Hold Hands and Stick Together
When two people, such as a married couple, are working together towards a common financial goal, sticking together and staying focused is exactly what they need to do. Teaching kids good team building skills will serve them well throughout their lives. Learning to work together with not just your fellow co-workers, sports team members, friends, and family, but also anyone with whom you engage in a financial endeavor, is necessary to reach success.
5. Say You’re Sorry
This is great advice for couples handling money together. At some point, you or your partner will make a mistake in handling finances. One of you might spend too much or fail to take the necessary steps to reach your financial goals. Since you’re in a couple, your mistake is bound to affect your relationship. Learn how to apologize and work with your partner to get past the mistake and continue working together to achieve your goals. Learning good conflict resolution, particularly when it comes to money, will go a long way toward keeping your relationship healthy and happy.
6. Learn to Share
Learning to share is a healthy habit that you can apply to many aspects of your life, especially the financial aspect. Whether it’s sharing your financial hopes, dreams, and aspirations with your partner or sharing what you have with someone less fortunate, opening yourself up to sharing is a good thing to embrace.
Getting in lockstep with your partner is imperative if you ever want to reach your financial goals and build good monetary habits together. Having common goals and agreed-upon rules and methods is important and necessary, so lots of communication is crucial.
If you have a giving heart, you know the joy that generosity can bring. Giving to others is a satisfying experience and one that usually returns good things back to you!
Other Tips to Help You Manage Your Money Better
Developing good, solid financial habits doesn’t happen overnight. This process takes time, patience and, usually, a few mistakes, but you can help yourself along the way by doing a few things.
One of the best places to start when trying to develop good money management skills is to learn all you can about finances. Luckily, there are many places to turn to for good information. The internet has many resources available to those wishing to improve their knowledge of managing money, and there are surely numerous books available at your local library as well. One of the key foundations of money management is formulating a budget. Unfortunately, many consumers have no idea where to begin. Many online sites can help you build a budget and stick to it monthly. Just having a good grasp of your financial situation can help you feel more confident about making decisions.
Find your weak spots
Everyone has areas to improve upon, and money management skills are often at the top of the list. Do an honest self-evaluation and identify what needs to be improved, retained, or removed. Being realistic about the habits you need to develop or break will help you get to your financial goals sooner. Maybe you spend too much money shopping on the internet or eating out. Identifying these weak areas of financial management and improving upon them is critical if you want to get where you want to go.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you know what you need to do to be successful, it’s time to start doing it! Experts say that it takes doing something 18 times before you can expect it to become a habit, so be diligent. Soon, you’ll have the great financial habits needed to be successful in your financial endeavors. Learning to be a good financial manager is an ever-evolving process, so keep learning and developing your knowledge and skills. With time and patience, you’ll soon be on your way to a bright financial future.