I can openly admit that I am not a financial genius. I’ve made stupid mistakes like getting a credit card during my last year of high school and then quitting my job. Or like I when I used said credit card to pay my cell phone bill because…well, I didn’t have a job. I’ve made mistakes, lots of them. And while I’m nowhere near where I want to be financially, I’ve not only made the decision to become financially knowledgeable, I also made the decision to not allow my daughter to make the same mistakes I did. And yes…I’m starting this at 4 years old.
How to Raise a Money Maven
Through my research and even my personal experiences, I’ve come to believe that it’s really not hard to raise a “money maven.” Even at the age of 4, my daughter has a simple concept of saving. Every time she’s given money, dollars or cents, she quickly puts it into her “savings account” aka her Dora the Explorer piggy bank. This is nothing new to her and she has been doing this for a few years now. But in actuality, that’s not enough. While saving is good, it will undoubtedly be her attitude towards and values in relation to money that will carry her into financial freedom. And this is something that she will learn directly and indirectly from her dad and I. It’s those financial conversations between her dad and I that will seep into her tiny brain, like seeds into softened dirt. There the seeds of financial knowledge, values and beliefs will blossom into her financial identity. Will she view money as something precious, to be hoarded and locked away for security? Will she understand that money management is just as much about mentality as it is about dollar dollar bills? Or will she see money as something that there is never enough of and therefore will resign that “just getting by” is good enough?
We, as parents, hold the key to shaping these attitudes about money while our children are young and pliable. They emulate us and take on our beliefs, as well as many of our values. By showing them our best financial selves, we strategically craft the foundation of their financial selves.
That’s how you raise money mavens.
Do you think it’s ever too early to start teaching little ones about money management? How are you teaching your children?