Teach Tots How to Manage Money

Preschool, elementary ages not too early

Teach tots how to manage money

There’s a meltdown in a toy store somewhere at least a dozen times a day.

“I want the big box!” demands the frustrated four-year-old.

“You don’t have enough money for that one,” beseeches his battle-worn    mother for the third time. She holds out a smaller toy in his price range.

Persistent, the little pipsqueak slaps away the pint-sized package of building blocks his mom offers him. He stretches to the top of his tippy-toes to reach the largest package on the display shelf, the one that sells for $99.99.

“You have only $20 to spend,” pleads mom. “That one costs too much,” she adds, as he stomps his foot.

Toy Aisle Meltdown: What’s a parent to do?                                                                        

Money management for preschoolers can be taught at home . . . before a parent even packs the van for that exhilarating escape to the nearest toy store. As soon as those birthday bucks fell out of the card, mom could have started teaching her son the value of money.

“Here’s what you can buy with the $20 bill your Grandma sent you,” she might have said, showing him a comparably-priced toy from his collection. She could have also encouraged him to save the money.

“Do you want to buy something small, or save your money until you have enough for a big toy?”

Moms and dads can take the lesson a step further by asking the child to find a few other things he already owns that may have cost about $20. Before even backing the car out of the garage, parents can set limits for spending. By offering kids the choice to save gift money until they have enough for larger items, major meltdowns might be avoided . . . and parents can introduce the idea of saving for big-ticket items.

Kids understand the concept of size, so that makes a good starting point for a four-year-old. Although some tiny packages may be pricey, most play sets preferred by preschoolers today come in various sizes that increase as boxes get bigger and include more pieces.

Showing a child the cost of various items online is another strategy mom could use before venturing out to spend $20 in the toy aisle. Many sites, including amazon.com, allow browsers to choose their price range. Use key words, like “toys for 4-year-olds for under $20.” Voila! Only affordable items appear. Kids of all ages, including tiny tots, will start to see how much their cash can buy. They’ll soon realize, also, that they’ll have to save some of their money until they can afford more expensive things.



Manage Your Money . . . financial facts for a brighter future provided by Advancd Asset Management LLC                           Follow our blog: aamllc.com                  Ronald Van Surksum, CFP                     4555 Wilson Ave SW – Suite 2               Grandville, MI 49418                             For permission to reprint:                       ask@cameo100.com                                                                                                                                rvansurksum@aamllc.com                 Phone: (616) 531-5220                            Cell: (616) 450-8439

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