By Yulissa Asprilla
Unschooling is an innovative approach to education that allows children and teenagers to pursue their interests and passions in a self-directed way. Regardless of whether they choose to attend college, start a business, or follow another path, developing financial management skills is crucial to their success. Here are some tips to help your unschooled child learn about money management:
It is important to teach your child about money management from an early age. Encourage them to set financial goals and create a plan to achieve them. Allowing them to earn money through chores or starting a small business will help them develop financial responsibility and independence.
Talk About Budgeting
Budgeting is an essential skill for everyone, whether they’re going to college or starting a business. Encourage your kids to create a budget for their expenses, such as toys – gifts, food, and transportation. This will help them understand how to manage their money and avoid overspending.
Teach About Credit
Credit is an important part of financial management. Teach your kids about how credit works, how to establish credit, and how to maintain a good credit score. This will help them when they’re ready to apply for loans, credit cards, or other forms of credit.
Teach About Saving and Investing
Saving and investing are essential parts of financial management. Encourage your child to save a portion of their income for emergencies or future goals. Teach them about different types of investments and how to choose investments that align with their goals and risk tolerance.
Encourage Smart Spending
Teach your kids about the importance of smart spending. Encourage them to research products before buying them, to compare prices, and to look for deals and discounts. This will help them make informed purchasing decisions and avoid overspending.
Lessons & Activities by Age
It’s important to keep things simple and fun. You can help them learn about money by making a saving jar, playing store with play money, counting money, and talking about needs vs. wants. This will help them understand the value of money and the difference between what they need and what they want.
Preschool and Kindergarten: Ages 3 to 5
There are simple ways to teach them about money. You can read books about money, help them set a financial goal, consider giving them an allowance, and encourage them to share their money by making a donation to a charity or cause they care about.
Elementary School and Middle School: Ages 6 to 14
Teaching them about money can involve more complex concepts. You can help them learn about budgeting by giving them a weekly or monthly allowance and guiding them in planning how to allocate it. Take them grocery shopping to teach them about comparison shopping and looking for sales and discounts. You can also help them open a savings account to teach them about earning interest. Involving them in family financial decisions and teaching them about investing through virtual stock market games or mock portfolios are other valuable ways to teach them about money.
For teens ages 16 to 19
Financial literacy is more important than ever as they approach adulthood. Encouraging your teen to get a part-time job can help them learn about income taxes, paycheck deductions, and budgeting. When it comes to college planning, you can help your teen research and compare the costs of different colleges, as well as discuss strategies for paying for college, such as scholarships, grants, and student loans. It’s also important to teach your teen about responsible credit card use, including paying bills on time and avoiding high-interest debt. Helping them understand the costs associated with owning and maintaining a car, including insurance, gas, and repairs, can also be valuable. Finally, encouraging entrepreneurship, such as starting their own business, can teach your teen about marketing, pricing, and financial management.
Nobody knows everything, remember that, that’s why you are here, looking for information to learn new things or improve the ones that you already know, so don’t get frustrated if you feel like you don’t know enough financial literacy to educate your child, you will get to that and I’m sure you will improve your knowledge while teaching and playing with your child.
About the author: Yulissa Asprilla is an Outreach Specialist on Annuity.org, Working with the community to promote education, develop initiatives, track progress, and make sure to provide accurate information on financial matters.