Teaching Children About Saving for College: Part I
Parents are often the first ones to teach children about the concept of money. Children learn the value of money by seeing the ways in which their parents earn, save, and spend it. So how can you ensure that your children have a healthy relationship with money? While you certainly don't have to be a financial expert, there are some games and exercises that you can do with children to help them with financial literacy, no matter how young they may be. Understanding the importance of financial planning can help them learn to save for big expenses in the future, such as college.
To understand why money is important, it helps to understand where money comes from. Teaching children that money is a limited resource that has to be earned is a good way to start. One way that children can understand this is by learning about jobs. You can talk to your children about their interests and what kind of career that might entail in the future, and even explain to them what your own job is like. You can also start on a smaller scale by talking to them about ways they can earn money now, such as chores they can do around the house or services they can provide in the neighborhood.
If you're looking for a game that will help children with this concept, check out the Be Your Own Boss game from PBS. The game allows children to start their own business, such as car washing, and then make financial decisions that affect how the business grows. By learning how money is earned, children start to understand its importance.
We know that teaching children the value of money early on can help them understand why it's so critical to save as much as possible for college. We'll continue to expand on this topic with a series of blogs, all focused on helping your family to have the college cost conversation. The earlier you involve your children in planning for higher education, the more successful you'll be in reaching your college savings goals.
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