Teaching Preschoolers About Money

Teaching Preschoolers about Money

In the past few months, our 2.5 year old, Paxton, has become interested in money.

One of his favorite things to do at the grocery store is to “help me buy” when we use the self-checkout. I sometimes allow him to help me scan things {mainly if there’s nobody behind us} and boy does it make him happy! He also pretends to have a store at home and he scans things and pays for them.

With his interest in money, we’ve started talking to him about how we use money to exchange for things we need or want.

His grandparents will send him a letter with a dollar in it or put some change in his piggy bank when they’re visiting so he has some of his own spending money. He received a wallet for Christmas and we put his piggy bank money into the wallet.

A few weeks ago, he wanted a train game on the iPad so his daddy asked if he wanted to spend his money to buy it. He said yes and went to get his wallet. He paid for the new app and was excited to be spending his own money.

This past weekend, we went to Guitar Center {one of his favorite places, he loves drums and guitars}. After he played almost every drum there, we asked him if he wanted to spend some of his money on small drum sticks {he only had tiny sticks and adult sized sticks}. Of course he wanted new sticks! I gave him his wallet and helped him count out his money and give it to the associate. Paxton proudly carried his out new sticks and receipt and played with the sticks all the way home.

We know he’s young but he knows what money is and he knows you can purchase things. While we may be criticized for allowing him to spend his own money, we think it’s wise to guide our children in regards to their finances.

A preschooler who is learning the basics of money will grow into a child who learns about financial responsibility and then into an adult who is financially independent! One of our goals, as parents, is to raise our children to become independent adults.

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responses to “Teaching Preschoolers About Money” 12

  1. While I still have young children too, we have the same philosophy. Often people teach their kids how to save, but not how to spend wisely. Teaching kids to do both wisely is so smart! Great job. Super cute too!

    1. You're so right, many people do teach their children to save and that saving=good, spending=bad but they don't try to instill good spending habits in their children!

  2. We do the same thing. My girls(9,11) are into creating with duct tape. We have bought lots of duct tape for them and now when they want it they buy it…but the decision as to how many and what colors take a bit longer. Three of my kids(11,11,9) are buying new bikes for themselves to go on our summer 30 mile bike ride. They wanted very expensive bikes so we said that if you save your money we will help you get the best deal we can, but you have to use your own money. They have been "shopping" and comparing prices for several months now. They haven't pulled the trigger yet, because they are still trying to decide what exactly they need…better braking system, better gears, shocks…they have researched and honestly know more than some of the people that sell bikes. As a side note…we offered to buy them bikes, but they didn't want the ones we were going to buy so they decided to buy their own.

  3. I think it is wise to start the littles off early with saving, spending and giving. Growing up, we were taught to save-save-save. Now, I am definitely a tight-fisted saver (to a fault). I dont think there is anything wrong with a child buying their own app or drumsticks. In my opinion, it teaches they the value of a dollar.

    1. I also loved saving money as a child/teen! {In fact, a bit of my teenage babysitting money that was in my savings account went into our savings account after we were married and that savings became our house down payment!}

  4. I agree that guiding their spending is important but our focus is on saving and giving also – spending comes so natrually being that we are sinful. Giving and saving are much harder!

  5. I like that you are already teaching him about money. My daughter gets a "coin" that we choose at random for good behavior and manners. We like playing the wild card so she doesn't know when she will get one or what kind of coin she gets so it doesn't turn into bribery. She has also earned them from grandparents when we watch their pets for feeding and watering them. She is determined to buy her first big girl bike (she has a strider already) we will help her but it will be interesting to see her spend her own money.

  6. I think it's great to teach kids about money young as I have noticed that the kids who are hopeless with money often grow into adults who are hopeless with money! When I was 10 my parents started giving me my allowance monthly because they wanted me to get used to budgeting over a month. That was quite unusual because all my friends got their allowance weekly. It was hard at first, but I was so grateful later on as I was the only person amongst my friends who didn't make a mess of their money when they started working and got paid monthly.

  7. I think this is a great idea! The value of a dollar is something so many adults I know still don't quite get. Teach them young! We have taught Amelia to save with her bank and all but I know we are guilty of often buying her things "just because." I love the idea of her having her own little wallet and learning how to spend and save wisely! I just might see if Jason is game for starting something similar to this, thanks!

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