Teach Your Child About Money Over Summer Break

June 6, 2024 by Partner Colorado Credit Union

Summer break is the perfect time to teach your child about money. With a more relaxed schedule, children are usually more receptive to new experiences and learning opportunities. Here’s a helpful guide to making financial education fun and engaging during the summer for your child.

Set Up a Summer Budget

Introduce the concept of budgeting by setting up a summer budget with your child. Discuss income like an allowance or earning money from small jobs, as well as expenses like toys or activities. This will help your child understand the balance between earning money and spending it.

Activity: Budget Planner
Create a simple budget planner together in a paper notebook or on your child’s tablet. Track weekly allowances and expenses, and review it regularly to discuss how well your child is sticking to the budget.

Open a Savings Account

Opening a savings account is a great way to teach your kid about the importance of saving. Partner Colorado offers youth savings accounts that come with educational materials tailored for children.

Activity: Credit Union Visit
Take your child to the credit union to open a savings account. Explain how interest works and show your child how to deposit money.

Activity: Goal Setting
Set savings goals, like saving for a special toy or activity to give your child more motivation to save. Write out a list of your child’s savings goals, so he can refer back to it throughout the summer.

Introduce Basic Financial Concepts Through Games

Games are a great way to make financial concepts fun and memorable. There are several board games and online games designed to teach kids about money management.

Activity: Board Games
Play games like Monopoly, The Game of Life, or Payday. These games introduce concepts like earning, spending, investing, and dealing with unexpected expenses.

Teach About Earning Money

Summer is an ideal time for kids to learn about earning money through various small jobs. This teaches the value of hard work and the satisfaction of earning money.

Activity: Small Jobs
Encourage your kid to take on age-appropriate jobs like dog walking, babysitting, car washing, or setting up a lemonade stand. Help your child create a simple business plan and budget for expenses and profits.

Discuss Needs vs. Wants

Understanding the difference between needs and wants is an important step towards creating good financial habits. You can use everyday examples to show your child the difference between a need and a want.

Activity: Shopping Trips
Take your child on shopping trips and discuss the items on your list. Ask them to identify which items are needs (groceries, school supplies) and which are wants (toys, treats).

Activity: Visual Aids
Create a chart with pictures of various items and have your child categorize them into needs and wants. Discuss why certain items are necessary and others are optional.

Practice Smart Spending

Teaching your kid to be a savvy shopper can help him make better financial decisions in the future. Take your child with you the next time you go shopping or have him sit with you when you’re trying to make a decision about an online purchase.

Activity: Price Comparison
Show your child how to compare prices and look for deals. Use coupons and discount apps together to save money. Show him how to compare prices by researching a purchase online.

Activity: Budget Challenges
Give your child a small amount of money to spend on a particular item and challenge him to find the best deal.

Introduce the Concept of Giving

Teaching your kid about the joy of giving is an important aspect of any financial education. As a credit union, we understand the importance of giving back to the community, and how it can make a positive impact.

Activity: Charity Selection
Help your child choose a cause he cares about and determine how much money to set aside to make a donation.

Activity: Volunteer Work
Engage in volunteer activities together. This can help your child understand the value of contributing to the community and the importance of non-monetary giving.

Use Real-Life Scenarios

Everyday situations can be great teaching moments. Use real-life scenarios to explain financial concepts.

Activity: Bill Payments
Show your kid how household bills are paid. Explain different expenses like utilities, rent or mortgage and groceries, and explain how often they need to be paid.

Incorporate Technology

Kids are tech-savvy, and there are numerous apps designed to teach financial literacy in a fun and engaging way.

Activity: Educational Apps
Explore apps like PiggyBot, Bankaroo, or Savings Spree, which are designed to teach kids about saving, spending, and budgeting.

Teaching you child about money during summer break can be a rewarding experience that sets him up for future financial success. By incorporating fun activities, real-life examples, and regular discussions, you can instill valuable financial habits in your child. Remember, the goal is to make learning about money engaging and enjoyable, helping your child develop a healthy relationship with finances that will benefit him for a lifetime.