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“It’s time to teach the kids how to manage money they can’t see or touch,” says the author of The No-Cash Allowance. Follow Lynne’s common sense approach for teaching children to manage money as a number starting with kids as young as pre-school and continuing through high school.

Where Can Kids Learn Money Management Skills?

Money management skills start early, at home.
A mom helps her daughter add her allowance to her account.

Teaching children financial literacy is important, yet it is not the complete solution. Children need to learn money management skills that give them competency.

What’s the difference between literacy and competency?

Literacy is knowledge. Therefore, knowing about financial matters will not help children manage money. Simply knowing about saving, borrowing, insurance, compound interest, investing, is not enough.

Competency is skill. Competency requires practice and learning from mistakes. Consequently, learning to money management skills requires hands-on practice using real currency.

This hands-on practice does not happen in the classroom, because schools can’t provide real money. Schools can offer simulations, exercises, games and discussions, but not real currency.

As a result, parents are the only ones who can provide the one tool required for learning financial skill, namely money. Parents can help their children gain money management skills by giving them hands-on practice at home with their own money.

Reinforce financial knowledge at home

Financial knowledge can be learned at school. Then it can be reviewed at home. Family discussions about financial topics helps kids become comfortable with money management.

Money topics to talk about as a family include:

  • Using different types of financial tools such as cash, checks, credit, debit,
  • Accessing funds from financial institutions using checks, ATM and electronic fund transfers (ETF).
  • Knowing basic financial terms including credit, debit, overdraft, interest, deposit, and withdrawal.
  • Financial documents: checking account, savings account, loans, credit card statements, bank statements, tax returns and other financial documents you use in your family.

Develop money management skills at home

A child can have many years of financial hands-on experience with parental guidance at home. When a child is responsible managing his or her own funds the following skills take on greater importance.

  • Addition and subtraction. Managing money is all about numbers.
  • Record keeping. Knowing how much is available and when money is needed requires keeping track of money flow.
  • Decision making. Deciding how to use money is an exercise in making choices.

As a result, children who learn to manage their finances will be more confident and capable to manage finances as adults.

Furthermore, parents who raise financially competent kids will not need to bailout their adult children. Hence, parents can protect their own savings and retirement funds.

Managing money is a combination of knowledge and practice. One without the other is ineffective. The ability to control one’s money provides the power to make choices.

Money management skills are essential

In conclusion, when we help our children develop financial competency through hands-on practice, they will be better prepared to navigate economic challenges as adults.

Lynne Finch helps parents teach their kids about money from piggy banks to online banking. Buy The No-Cash Allowance today and follow Lynne’s common sense approach for teaching children that money is a number. 




Piggy Banks Don’t Teach Money Management Skills

Piggy banks don’t teach money management skills.

Piggy banks don’t teach money management skills. One could say that piggy banks encourage spending.

After all, they are the cutest storage containers, but no better than a paper bag or mayonnaise jar for storing money.

Piggy banks encourage what I call the “cash in hand” syndrome. Without tracking the amount of money in a piggy bank, a kid has no way of knowing how much there is without counting. This puts the cash in the kids hand, triggering a strong desire to spend!

Now there are the new breed of piggy banks with new wrinkles that claim to make them more useful or more “educational.”

Meet the multi-chamber piggy bank.  How does a kid know how much is in each chamber? Without recording the numbers somewhere?

Then there is the counting piggy bank. Good for coins, not so good for counting paper currency, without writing the numbers down?

Add some mechanical gizmos. Press the pig’s snout and tip it forward to release money from the mouth. Remove a piece at the back to remove money or insert dollars. Manually lower the counter to show the new balance.

While these piggy banks do a great job holding money, do they teach money management skills?  Do they do help kids  learn to manage money as a number?

The money in an adult bank is always a number;  $300.15 or $1,234.56 or $65.21 or -$25.33. The balance goes up or down depending on deposits and spending choices.

What if your child  kept a written record of money in a notebook or a computer spreadsheet? What if your child sees the number showing that the balance was $10.32?

Spending money now becomes an exercise in subtraction, making the balance smaller.

Depositing allowance makes the number bigger through the magic of addition.

Piggy banks don’t show kids that there is a bottom line. By setting up a system as explained in The No-Cash Allowance, your kids start to see the big picture of their money.

Paper and pencil can be the  most effective tools to teach money management skills. Managing money as a number is one of the best lessons that your children can learn before they leave home.

Lynne Finch helps parents teach their kids about money from piggy banks to online banking. Buy The No-Cash Allowance today and follow Lynne’s common sense approach for teaching children that money is a number.