By Jon Bacon, CFP®

The financial toll of the COVID-19 pandemic is being felt by everyone, including young children. It’s natural to want to shield them from the hard reality we’re all going through. But this is a great opportunity to talk to your kids about money. Emphasizing that parents are ultimately responsible for family finances is a great place to start and creates a more comfortable space to involve children in conversations about money. Discussing what the government is doing to help stimulate the economy can also provide a timely introduction to economics.

Here are a few activities that can help children develop the financial skills they will need over their lifetimes:

1. Create Opportunities to Earn Money

According to a survey by RoosterMoney, an allowance and chore tracking app, the most popular chores right now are:

1. Cleaning bedrooms
2. Caring for pets
3. Doing the laundry
4. Making beds
5. Cleaning bathrooms
6. Taking out the trash
7. Emptying the dishwasher
8. Clearing the table
9. Completing homework
10. Tidying up toys

RoosterMoney found that many children are spending their allowances on video games — like Minecraft, Fortnite and Lego. But an impressive 39 percent of allowances are being saved. With money habits being set by as early as age 7, this is a good time to teach your kids about the value of their hard earned dollars. In addition to RoosterMoney, other allowance and saving apps to explore include gohenry, Otly!, and Gimi.

2. Play Games

Games are a great way to teach complex money topics in a fun and accessible way. Some creative activities your entire family could do include creating a restaurant, having a “discount detective challenge,” or holding a “savings race.” There are also virtual games available — kids can even learn about stock trading with the London Stock Exchange’s fantasy game. Classics like the game of Monopoly are a great option, too.

All of these games teach important financial topics, such as saving, budgeting, banking, money management, currency conversion, and income.

3. Utilize Free Virtual Educational Resources

There are many financial education resources online, from YouTube channels to sites like Banzai, Khan Academy, Fluency & Fitness+, Next Gen Personal Finance, and Outschool.

4. Get Children Involved in Budgeting

This is a great time to get your kids involved in household budgeting. With families cutting back on expenses and the scarcity of some items, it’s important to teach children about wants vs. needs. Also, getting them involved in creating the weekly or monthly grocery list can be a learning experience.

5. Set A Good Example

Model good financial behavior, like setting a short-term goal and achieving it. Your own money habits — both good and bad — impact your kids.

6. Show the Importance of Giving Back

Share your money values with your children. You can create spending, saving, and giving jars. Also, apps like Greenlight and FamZoo allow kids to create online giving accounts.

Contact Harris Financial Advisors Today

If you’d like to further discuss how you can teach positive money habits during this time, contact us today. Of course, if you are swamped with work and homeschooling, that’s OK too. Keep up the good work!