This Season, Give Your Child the Gift of Fiscal Responsibility

by Linsey Knerl on 30 November 2007 2 comments
Photo: Melting Mama

Kids may think they know what they want to get for the holidays this year, but that doesn’t mean they have a clue as to what they need. By having a little forethought, and using this gift-giving opportunity as a chance to really invest in them, you can help change their financial futures. Here is a rundown of some of the best money-management gifts that I have personally used for kids under 12:

 

One of the most comprehensive financial education packages on the market, the Money Savvy Kids @ Home program by Money Savvy Generation, is designed to be used as a complete curriculum on money. Home educators will find that it is very similar to a unit study, complete with parent handbook, student workbook, CD-Rom, and cool piggy bank. I’ve tried this program, and found it to be one of the most interesting. Covering the basic money principles (save, spend, donate, invest) reminded me of my financial goals, and it was interesting to learn some quirky facts about the history of money in the process. This is a well thought-out program with much to offer kids ages 6-11.

 

Grown-ups wanting to incorporate faith into their finances will find that the late Larry Burkett’s Learning ATM is a great way to teach philanthropic giving at an early age. This piggy-bank-meets-calculator allows kids to punch in their amounts as they make deposits to watch their giving/saving/spending amounts add up! Plastic ATM cards act like keys to keep the bank safe from snooping siblings (or parents needing a spare quarter for tolls…)

 

Tessy and Tab is a fun reading programs for kids ages 2-6. They have now introduced money management to the preschool scene with their Money Manager Toolkit. Two story books teach earning money and how to Save, Spend, and Share via colorful pictures and bold text. Kid’s can make deposits into their “Moonjar Moneybox” while parents can read about cores, allowance, and incorporating money management into their little one’s lives.

 

Need to read more before starting a money education program at home? Kiplinger has come out with a very smart guide that covers many of the basics in teaching your kids finance, titled Raising Money-Smart Kids: What They Need to Know About Money and How to Tell Them. This is a great read with everything from lemonade stands to college funds, and all the in-betweens.

 

Before you stuff another crisp bill into that kid’s Christmas card this year, think ahead to what it will be worth. An educated child will put that money to good use and will be prepared to make solid financial decisions later on in life. Your gift choice may not make them the envy of all their friends now, but someday they really could be!

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Leslie

Oh, I wish I'd seen this before that trip to Target. Now I've got to return what I bought. This is a much better idea for both my little nieces and my daughter in high school who wants to get out there and live on her own.

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Teaching kids about money needs to start as early as possibly and by that I mean that parents must first understand how kids learn about money. They learn three primary ways: by what they see, by what they hear and by what they experience. The first, by what they see around them, may be the most important as it sets the child up in terms of belief systems about money that can literally influence the rest of their lives.

Creative Wealth International, a nonprofit in Santa Barbara, has been offering it's own unique brand of financial education for kids in the form of summer camps (Camp Millionaire and formerly The Money Camp), Creative Cash for Kids home programs, schools programs and other events for kids, teens, families and more. Their latest program, Wealth Rules! Financial Wisdom for Youth, will be unveiled at the Los Angeles Convention Center Feb. 15-17. This event is for teens and parents and will provide everyone with an opportunity to really explore money and it's workings.

Our philosophy at CWI is that our belief systems control everything and that the more we empower kids and teens to create their own lives, the less victims we will have in our society. We also teach kids that they can start businesses and learn to invest and produce cash flow without necessarily having to go to college (since a huge percentage of our population will never attend college), get a job and accumulate money for 40 years. The underlying principle there is that by creating more monthly cash flow than you need, you can go out in to the world and do a whole lot of good with the extra. For more information on our unique brand of financial education for the whole family or to help us sponsor a kid or two to one of our events, please visit: http://www.creativewealthintl.org or call us at 805-957-1024 or 800-928-1932.