This post was underwritten by BMO Harris Bank, which offers a matching $25 on a new savings account opened for your child through their Helpful Steps for Parents program. Learn more at bmoharris.com/parents.
One of the most important things that you need to teach your kids, especially once they reach their tween and teen years, is the value of money and how to spend and save it wisely. If their parents don’t teach them, who will.
Usually when I write an advice article on a topic that I am not an expert on, I need to spend some time researching the subject. This time, I started by going to our sponsor BMO Harris Bank’s Helpful Steps for Parents web page, and I did not need to go any further. I honestly couldn’t imagine a better approach to teaching parents and kids about money.
First, all of the advice was divided into four different categories by the ages of the kids:
Each age group category has a page for parents and one for the kids. The parents page consists of advice in the form of:
- “At This Stage” – What your kids should be learning about money at this age.
I love the kids pages also called “The Zone”. This is BMO Harris Bank’s message to your kids:
“Consider The Zone your latest hangout for games and activities. While you’re here, spend some time playing and learning about money and how to make it work for you.”
Each age group has its own age appropriate games to learn about money. I am a very big proponent of learning through games, as the more fun you are having, the more you’ll continue to play and the more you will learn. I was very impressed with “The Zone”.
Here is an example of a piece of advice for parents of teens and a game from the teen Zone:
- Parents – Budget basics for teens.
- Teens – Clock in at your virtual job and see how much you can earn by pay day.
The most important thing that I can tell you from my experience is to start money lessons as early as you can. Don’t wait until they are already overspending or having other financial issues. The BMO Harris Bank website starts its advice tips at age 5; why not begin your advice then also?