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21 Back To School Tips For Raising Money Savvy Kids At Each Educational Stage

Back To School Boys

Personal finance still isn’t a significant part of the curriculum in most schools. Even if it was, you’d want to remain involved. After all, discussions about money are also discussions about values.

Whether your kid is headed back to elementary school, middle school, high school, college, or even back to your guest room, here are 21 novel ideas for filling the financial education gap:

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Motivate Your Kid To Work With A Money-You-Could-Have-Earned Account

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”
~Thomas Edison

Is your child passing up opportunities to earn a few extra bucks around the house?

You: “I’ve put together a list of odd jobs above and beyond your unpaid chores. The amount I’ll pay you is next to each one. See? Like $4 to wash my car. Whaddya say?”

Your kid: “Nah, I’ll pass. Doesn’t seem worth it.”

Sounds like it’s time to set up a Money-You-Could-Have-Earned account. It’s a way to teach your kid that a few dollars here and there add up to significant dollars over time — especially when you factor in forgone compound interest.

Here’s how the system works in FamZoo (but you could do the same thing manually with a spreadsheet or even a notebook):

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You Want To Buy What?! Write Me A Proposal

Request For Purchase Proposal

The whole point of allowing your kids to manage some of their own money is to learn basic financial skills through firsthand experience. Learn by doing. Often, that means learn by failing too. Making a bad financial decision and living with the consequences is a powerful teacher. Like the time my daughter blew her annual clothing budget on a Nieman Marcus chiffon gown for the prom. Going cold turkey on clothing for the rest of the year left a far more indelible impression than any preemptive, eyeball-roll-inducing lecture I could have given.

So, does that mean you should let your kids buy anything they please with their money?