Dollars & Sense: Talk to Your Kids about Money this Summer

Help kids learn about money. Create three jars labeled "spend, save & donate."

Spend. Save. Donate. Help kids learn the power of saving money.

Let’s face it, talking to your kids about the power of saving money is not an easy conversation to start. However, starting a conversation about saving money doesn’t have to be one, long drawn-out lecture. Take a few of life’s simple moments to start a conversation about the power of saving money and see what happens. Here are a few simple ideas that parents can use this summer to start the conversation:
1. Make a Craft:
Young children can decorate three small jars to start saving money. Label one, “save,” label another “spend” and a third, “donate.” Talk to your child about how much money they want to put in each jar with each allowance or money they earn or receive as a gift.

2. Turn a Trip to the Library into a Savings Adventure:
Make a visit to your local library a lesson about saving money. Many children’s book authors have written about how to save money – Try Mercer Mayer’s “Just Saving my Money” …or everyone’s favorite monkey, “Curious George Saves His Pennies,” by Margret & H.A. Rey. Girls who are fans of the American Girl series might like “A Smart Girl’s Guide to Money” – how to make it, save it and spend it. Find more possibilities at your local library.

3. Vacation Spending:
If you’re planning a vacation, it’s a great time to teach your kids the basics of money management. Kids can manage a small amount of money for treats and entertainment. Young kids might do best managing a given dollar amount for each day of the trip while older kids can manage their spending for an entire week. Small lessons today lead to better budgets tomorrow.

4. Make Coin Counting a Lesson in History, too!
Lincoln. Jefferson. Jackson. Hamilton. Washington. What do these names have in common? Famous Americans have their faces on coins and paper bills. Make a game out of whose face is on what coin and what bill. It’s a great way to get a conversation going, and start talking about the power of saving money. (And remember, Ben Franklin was never president…) Here’s a list of some famous Americans pictures on currency for your reference:
a. $1 Bill = George Washington
b. $2 Bill = Thomas Jefferson
c. $5 Bill = Abraham Lincoln
d. $10 Bill = Alexander Hamilton
e. $20 Bill = Andrew Jackson
f. $50 Bill = Ulysses Grant
g. $100 Bill = Ben Franklin

These savings tips for parents and kids are from the Kool Kat Kids Club at Iowa State Bank. Help your kids save for a successful future with the Kool Kat Kids Klub at Iowa State Bank. Member FDIC.

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