6 Financial Healthy Habits for the Youth

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This financial literacy month is all about the basics, and one of my many joys is working with children to help instill financial knowledge within their minds. Having a healthy relationship with money doesn’t start when you get your first paycheck, it starts when you learn what the concept of money is. If a child is consistently taught by their surroundings that money should be spent uncontrollably or that saving isn’t important, when it’s time for them to have their own money- those thoughts and beliefs will stay with them. Consider sharing this information with your children, grandkids, nieces, nephews, family friends, and others!

Teaching the difference between needs and wants

If a child can read and is beginning the early stages of comprehension it’s important to begin sharing the meaning behind needs and wants. Depending on their comprehension level, gamify the idea of identifying needs versus wants:

  • water vs. bubbles
  • shelter/home vs. stuffed animal
  • shirt vs. movie

Helping them understand this will help them become critical thinkers of their purchases and in turn hopefully steer them away from excessive spending and debt.

Consider sitting down with them to explain the need for emergency funds and saving jars (or piggy banks!). Looking to start your own emergency fund? Use this calculator!

Delayed Gratification

This habit is something relevant for all ages. Consider sharing options with the child about what they could get if they wait versus if they want to spend their money now. Gamifying this concept with play money and items could be a great way to teach the concept of delayed gratification to a younger audience.

Opening a savings account

If your child receives money for their birthday and they are too young to understand spending or the concept of money- consider opening them their own savings account that will help jumpstart them when they are older. Here you can centralize holiday gift money or birthday money and be able to pass over the account when they are of responsible age. If it’s a larger sum, consider opening a high-yield savings account to help jumpstart their amount even more!

Understanding the concept of philanthropy

Explaining to children early on the concept of donating their time and or money to help a better cause can also help mend negative connotations or ideas about money. Help them to understand the idea of skill, knowledge, and connection. Giving to charitable causes in the future may result in saving in other places!

Positive Affirmations and Examples

Leading by example is important not only for children but also for other adults. Make sure when discussing your relationship with money it’s in a positive light or using affirming words that will help aid in others’ improvement with money. Even debt is a learning opportunity and something that shouldn’t be considered taboo. Words like putting aside, saving, investing, etc. shouldn’t be used in a negative light. Here are some positive affirmations you can try (and kid-friendly!):

  • “I am smart with my money.”
  • “I am a good saver.”
  • “I am grateful for what I have.”
  • “I am capable of earning money.”
  • “I am responsible with my finances.”
  • “I am learning how to make wise choices with my money.”
  • “I am generous with my resources.”
  • “I am building a bright financial future.”
  • “I am in control of my financial destiny.”

Always keep learning

Even as an adult, it’s important to continue to learn. Whether you are an adult or a teen– it’s vital to continue to challenge yourself in ways you normally wouldn’t. Find ways to improve your saving game and chase the lifestyle you desire. It’s never a bad time to stop learning! Consider listening to podcasts, reading books, or even just keeping up with financial news. As technological trends continue, it’s important to stay astute to everything happening in the world!

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