When we’re very young, we’re still in our parent’s boat on the Clear Creek of the family’s financial life. Simply understanding the concept of money and that things have a cost is an important development stage for the young child. There are a number of ways you can do this as your kid grows up—whether it’s a minimal allowance and a cookie jar, a neighborhood lemonade stand, or physically paying for things with money. Our parents will create a safe environment for us to interact with money. It’s kind of like coming ashore so our parents can create a safe environment for us to interact with money and begin to develop our financial habits.
Tips for Young Parents—Eventually, you’ll want to start to teach them about more complex financial concepts—things like opportunity costs, cost-benefit analysis, coupons, and interest. Of course, these financial lessons need to be age-appropriate to be helpful and instructive. These guides from Dave Ramsey and Parents.com can help explain what types of lessons should be taught to children at different ages. Before long, they’ll be swimming and paddling in their own creek with all the tools to navigate the clear, if uncertain, waters.