When is too early to introduce money sense to your little one? I tried to do a little research on this question, but I am going to go ahead and stick with my general approach on a lot of what I am “homeschooling” with my preschooler, and say it is never too early to be familiarizing and introducing ideas.
I looked up in the Iowa CORE Curriculum where money tends to fall in the learning process. Strangely, I only found just a couple of hits- 5th grade teaches money sense and 8th grade slight economics of borrowing, saving, and spending. These were found in the 21st century skills portions of the CORE- https://iowacore.gov/sites/default/files/k-12_21stcentskills.pdf
On another source, I did manage to find 2nd grade as the suggested time to approach money…
I think with the issues on saving and spending wisely we seem to have in this country, which holds a “National Dept” of $21.97 trillion, a more hands on approach can be afforded to teaching money sense.
$21.97 TRILLION isn’t even something we can truly wrap our heads around when it comes to the questions how, what, when, where, WHY!? USA Today has a slightly more comprehensible number, claiming the average household has about $130,000 in debt distributed among credit card loans, auto loans, student loans, and mortgages.(https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/11/18/a-foolish-take-heres-how-much-debt-the-average-us-household-owes/107651700/).
We are not rich, but we are also very secure in our finances. We have played our status in life and come out ahead by exercising good money sense. When my husband and I both secured a job after college, we bought a home worth less than most people’s cars. We did buy that on loan, but threw everything we had into paying off the mortgage quickly as well as our school loans. We have never had new cars. We budget. We invest. We do not live luxuriously, but we also truly want for nothing. We openly discuss finances, even carving out “date nights/business nights” as I talked about in a previous post, “Make a Date Night a Business Night”
As our children get older, they too will be a part of these meetings, as suggested by a book I read in the above mentioned post. Of course, we will tone them down to their level. I believe, they need to see the juggling and the consequences of money decisions. I am not sure about rigid chore payments yet, but already we do give little money rewards to Abe (3.5 years old) for little chores he helps out with. He folds pants and towels, cleans up, helps with some construction projects in our fixer upper projects.
We also play store, which he REALLY enjoys. I have that video below.
I don’t know the best approach. I am still doing research about how to teach financially responsible humans. What do you do? How do you feel about money education for kids?