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It’s never too early to teach children the value of money. We do it with little ones as we watch them drop pennies and other loose change into their piggy banks, telling them that one day, those pennies will grow into dollars. We tell them money doesn’t grow on trees, that a penny saved is a penny earned.
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But when our youngsters reach the preteen and early teen years, as they get ready to earn their first real money through jobs like babysitting, caring for the neighbor’s yard and such, it’s time for the money lessons to accelerate, financial experts say.
“Unlike more broad areas of life, teenagers and preteens form many of their financial habits prior to adulthood,” said John Hagensen, the owner and founder of Keystone Wealth Partners and a father of seven. “That is why it is important for parents to start talking to and teaching their children about money from a young age.”
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But as they grow, the lessons become more real, with money becoming a more tangible, and valued, asset to growing children.
“If you have a child in or approaching their teens, there are many financial strategies that can help them evolve from novice to experienced as they progress toward their financial independence,” said Abby Wendel, the president of consumer banking at UMB Bank. “You can introduce financial literacy and teach money management in a few different ways.”
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Learning To Save
“Children can learn to save at a young age by putting aside allowance money or cash they’ve earned for doing odd jobs for others,” said Liz Frazier, the executive director of financial education for Copper Banking. “When kids earn their own money, they are able to practice firsthand how to manage money, practice budgeting and saving. This provides valuable experience for kids of any age and sets the foundation for financial independence as an adult.
“When your child starts to earn, the most important aspect parents should focus on is helping their …….