Instilling good money habits in your children is arguably one of life's most important lessons. Fortunately, with today's technology, there are many ways to make learning about money fun for kids of all ages.
Teaching your kids about money should start as early as possible. "As soon as your child starts asking for things, I think it's time for them to understand that things cost money," says Anton Simunovic, founder of ThreeJars.com, a website dedicated to teaching kids about money management.
But what lessons should you start with? Neale Godfrey, author of Money Still Doesn't Grow on Trees: A Parent's Guide to Raising Financially Responsible Children, suggests beginning with the concept that money must be earned. "There's no entitlement program in life," she says. "Kids need to know that they can't just whine for a toy in a store and automatically get it."
As kids begin to learn about money, parents shouldn't feel intimidated. "The topic of money shouldn't be something that's taboo," says Jayne Pearl, author of Kids and Money Guide to Learning Capital. If you're uncomfortable talking about it, she says, it won't be an enjoyable experience for the kids.
You should also be careful not to argue about money in front of your kids. "If the parents are constantly arguing about money, their children are going to view money as a source of stress," says Jon Gallo, who coauthored the book The Financially Intelligent Parent with his wife, Eileen.
Starting to feel a little less anxious? Here are six more ideas for making money fun for kids:
By Daniel Bortz | U.S.News & World Report LP