Not to say I’m bad with money, but like most parents in 2022, I rarely have real cash. She sees me make almost all of my in-store purchases with a card or online, and often with my phone. And while Matilda is starting to notice how well I can spend money (and really, I’m gifted at this area), I find it much more difficult to explain concepts like financial security or tax goals to her.

Like most parents, I want my child to have a solid sense of financial literacy and good money habits in adulthood. With this in mind, I turned to two money professionals for advice on teaching kids the basics of earning, saving, spending, and giving. Here are their top six tips.

1. Share Your Spending Strategies

For starters, it can be as simple as explaining your day-to-day spending decisions, says Robin Taub, author of The Wisest Investment: Teaching Your Kids to Be Responsible, Independent and Money-Smart for Life. “For example, if you drive through the drive-through and use your phone to tap and pay, your kids might think that’s cool and have questions about how it works.”

When shopping online, invite small children to sit with you while you compare products and clip virtual coupons. If you are in a real store, explain how to compare two brands of shampoo by price and volume, for example to get the best price. Older school-age children may be interested in why you often shop at the same store, and this could be another smart shopping lesson to share, if the decision is tied to a store rewards program or lower prices.

Taking a few minutes to explain your spending strategies is rewarding, as you begin to build your kids’ knowledge and understanding, Taub says. “All those moments come together in a good way.”

2. Offer a good old-fashioned allowance (or hybrid allowance)

Giving kids a weekly allowance is a classic way to teach good spending habits, and it has another big impact. According to the experts, there is a big advantage to handing out weekly pocket money. “Fees are one of the best ways to introduce conversations about financial literacy, bank accounts, savings, and even taxes to your kids,” said Gaurav Kapoor, CEO and co-founder of Mydoh, a new money management app for kids. Many parents start giving benefits when their children are eight to 12 years old. If you do, consider opening bank accounts for them as well. That way, you have the option to transfer money to their accounts, rather than handing over cash and coins, and they can also learn how a bank account works.

Some families find that paying children to pull their weight around the house creates a transactional relationship. And it’s one that can feel unfair, given that no one pays the parents to unload the dishwasher or fold the laundry.

If you’re not comfortable allocating allowance for household chores, consider a hybrid allowance system: Every week, kids get a little money to manage, though it’s not specifically tied to how often they make their bed or check the living room vacuuming room. This is spending money that kids have to manage and that can be allocated to movie tickets, video game upgrades, Pokémon cards, or that they can save for bigger purchases.

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