My children are 6 and 8 years old. What should they know about money at that age, and what I can I do to help?

Answer: Ages 6 to 8 are a good time to discuss choices about how to spend money, compare prices, and start savings accounts.

Here are some milestones you should look for and activities that can help your children reach them.

You need to make choices about how to spend your money.

  • Include your children in some of your small decisions. For example, at the grocery store, explain why you pick one item over another.
  • Give your children a few dollars and let them choose which fruit to buy.
  • When shopping with your children, ask yourself aloud: Do I need this item? Can I borrow it? Would it cost less somewhere else?

It's good to shop around and compare prices before you buy.

  • With your child, compare prices for a particular toy at various online or brick-and-mortar stores.
  • Use coupons and discount cards, and show your child how much you are saving.
  • Consider allowing her to keep part of the savings, if she helps clip or print out coupons.

It can be costly and dangerous to share information online.

  • Know the websites your child visits.
  • Decide which websites are appropriate, and block any inappropriate sites using parental control software.
  • Make it a rule that your child never gives out any personal information – like her birthdate, address, phone number, or school – when on the computer.
  • Don't allow her to buy anything online without your permission.

Putting your money in a savings account will protect it and pay you interest.

  • Visit a nearby federally insured bank or credit union with your child.
  • Ask about the interest rate on a savings account.
  • Discuss with your child how money in savings accounts is protected by federal insurance.
  • If the bank goes out of business, she will get her money back.
  • Open a savings account for your child.

For more money activities for your child, visit our Money As You Grow section.

 

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