Many children will be receiving cash and gift cards this holiday season. As parents, we know how this windfall often ends up—spent on toys that are played with once before gathering dust or frittered away a little at a time on impulse purchases.
The President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability has created a website called Money As You Grow to help parents teach their children to be responsible with their money. The website breaks down the twenty financial milestones that children need to know to lead financially smart lives at different ages. Each milestone has activities you can do at home with your child. Among the milestones are:
- There’s a difference between things you want and things you need (ages 3-5).
- It’s good to shop around and compare prices before you buy (ages 6-10).
- You should save at least a dime for every dollar you receive (ages 11-13).
- When comparing colleges, be sure to consider how much each school would cost you (ages 14-18).
- You should use a credit card only if you can pay off the money owed in full each month (ages 18+).
Working with your child on these milestones will help prepare them for a financially sound life as an adult, making it easier for them to have good credit or purchase their first car or house. The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has additional age-appropriate resources to help you teach your child to be responsible with their money.