As passionate advocates of financial education, we look forward to the 30 days in April dedicated to bringing awareness to the importance of financial literacy for adults and children. Thanks to the efforts of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, a one-day Youth Financial Literacy Day, introduced by the National Endowment for Financial Education, was expanded to a full month. And, in 2004 the Senate passed a resolution recognizing April as Financial Literacy Month.
What better time to assess your current level of financial fitness and be proactive about increasing your fiscal knowledge? With all the resources available, it’s also the perfect time to encourage your children, grandchildren, or any young person in your life to learn some basic financial skills. It’s never too early to teach them good money habits and prepare them to be financially literate adults.
In addition to the time-honored activities like earning an allowance or opening a savings account, try a few of the following ideas to promote financial literacy with children.
- Each week in April, share one important money principal with a child. For the younger ones, it could be as simple as taking them grocery shopping and comparing prices. For teens you may want to share something a little more complex like understanding credit and debt.
- Create a Savings Challenge for the month of April. Rather than just saving money received, have each family member come up with ways to reduce expenses. The winner would be the person who saves the most by cutting current expenses.
- Schedule a “Financial Goals” night with the family - write down some aspirations for the year (vacation, a new pet, a new car, etc.) and discuss how you can budget to achieve those goals.
- For older children, why not introduce the concept of investing with a mock stock market trading game? Have them choose some stocks they would like to follow and how many shares they would like to buy (we’re just pretending here!) and then follow that stock/share price for a while. This will give them an idea of how stock prices rise and fall and how money is made and lost. There are also online resources like The Stock Market Game to help educators teach the fundamentals of investing.
Above all don’t be afraid to have honest conversations about your finances with your children. They already pick up on more than you think. Create valuable learning experiences with conversation starters like “Why do we need money?” for early learners or “What does it mean to invest?” for the more mature child. Remember, the way you manage your finances will influence your children and have a lasting impact on their relationship with money.
Looking for some guidance for managing your own finances? Join our Facebook group and follow our KGF’s Financial Wellness in 2022 – One Step at a Time campaign. We’re posting one step each month along with activities you can do to help you achieve financial wellness this year. Visit our website for newsletters, market updates and videos on topics that can help you become a confident investor.
For more ideas and information on how to celebrate Financial Literacy Month, call the Knox Grove Team at 609-216-7440.