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6 Ways Parents Can Teach Kids the Value of Money

The old quote saying, “Money can’t buy happiness,” has been modified nowadays. Way back years and years ago, it’s like a motto that many people hold onto. It’s just that today, society has learned to express their thoughts realistically, based on their observations and experiences. Growing older and wiser, people have realized that its meaning leans more on the fact that happiness is priceless, however, actual money itself is a must to achieve many of the things that make people happy. Food, clothing and traveling are among those things.  

Money is truly important to humans. You will not be able to bring and use it once you lose your breath, but money is very necessary while you live. It is undeniably an essential, regardless of who you are, what you do or where you belong to in this populace. That is why you must learn how to highly regard the money you have, receive and earn. It is also a good thing that you learn it early in your life even before you make money for yourself. 

Oftentimes, kids do not really know or understand the essence of money and why their parents are mostly strict about buying toys for them. Of course, kids are kids, and what many of them think about is getting what they want, without knowing what it takes to get them – without knowing how money is not anything worthless. As a result, many budget-tight parents experience headaches whenever their kids force them to buy them stuff and even show endless tantrums when they don’t get noticed.  

What parents can do is to inform their kids about the state of their families’ finances or about what they are saving up for. But if that technique is more appropriate for “adulting” teens, not for younger kids, then the list below would present better options. Keep reading and know these 6 ways parents can teach kids the value of money. 

1 – Save money.

save money

It’s doable, but it’s difficult. It’s difficult when you have a lot of bills to pay and also a lot of wants to achieve. Regardless, save money. And let your kids know it. 

Saving money even without a specific event or item to dedicate it to allows you to have a safe fund you can use anytime a very important and/or a really urgent need arises. Furthermore, it lets you enjoy some leisure time for traveling or shopping as a treat for yourself when you achieve something that deserves a self-given merit! 

There are a lot of boons to reap when you set aside some money for future use. You should inform your kids when you do this and explain what it is for, so that they will grasp why you have to do that. They will understand that money should not be wasted and spent recklessly. You will regret it if you lavish them thoughtlessly. You will be grateful if you store some of them mindfully. 

This is a basic way to set yourself, their parents, as a good example. 

2 – Prioritize buying the more important things.

There’s no problem with buying things that may not be so exceptionally necessary but will make you feel fulfilled after a success or relieved after a down moment. Let’s say you wish to buy a new pair of shoes after an accomplished work project. It’s totally fine to spend money on something you deserve, but remember, don’t overdo it if you don’t really have the budget for it. 

Rather, prioritize buying the more important things. Make a list, and put on top the more crucial payments and purchases you need to do. Bring to the fore the payables with nearing deadlines, the school essentials of the kids, the food for your table, the utility bills at home, the debt you have to pay your friend. After completing your obligations, mind your other intents. 

Let your kids know how you do this as well. This is important to aid them in understanding how to classify wants and needs and how to put them in order. For future decision-making pursuits, this can help them make intelligent buying choices. 

3 – Avoid spoiling them with everything they want.

It makes you glad and grateful to see your children with all smiles, very happy with what you provide them, both needs and wants. It’s like a parents’ natural inclination to usually fail to endure seeing their kids sad after not receiving what they want. Like if your son wants a toy, and you are strict about not buying it because it’s not part of your budget, you still feel a little guilty deep inside though you don’t express it. That feeling is valid. 

Nevertheless, a rational way to teach kids the value of money is by avoiding spoiling them with everything they want. Especially when you don’t really have a lot of extra finances for wants, avoid that. Do it in a gentle and informative manner, and not in a destructive approach. Don’t let them get used to bribery as well. Don’t use the “I’ll buy you what you want” weapon only to make them obey you. Though it mostly works, it fosters an unhealthy “I am the boss” kind of character in kids.

It’s just right that parents give their kids’ wishes and not just necessities, but it’s responsible that you also teach them that not everything they just want can be bought for them. Tell them why. Explain to them how valuable money is, and how you need to spend it smartly. They can have it next time, too, but at a time when you have other pressing priorities, they should understand that it must be set aside to make way for the more significant things.  

4 – Let them have their own piggy banks.

parents and kid

After showing them how to save money, let them experience it on their own. Well, you cannot open a bank account yet for your small youngsters, but you can let them have their own piggy banks. Everyone probably has had the experience of owning one as a kid. 

Saving money does not only mean big amounts of money. Start your kids’ saving lessons with coins before moving on to paper bills. Discuss with them the worth of every penny or paper they drop into their piggy banks. 

With a piggy bank, they will also learn discipline and self control, which are both vital when saving money. Discipline and self control work hand in hand in letting your kids think before they use money on things they want.   

It’s a good idea to tell them what they can buy if they reach a certain amount of savings. With that in mind, they will have a goal to keep an eye on!

5 – Play with play money.

Playtime can be educational! It’s actually the ideal playtime style – something kids will enjoy and learn from. 

Play with play money. Do market role playing with your tots. Buy them a toy cash register with play money. Let them play the role of customers with a limited budget, while you, their parents, pretend to be vendors in markets or salespersons in malls. 

6 – Shop with your kids.

parents grocery

Take your kids when you shop. Shop with them. Let them see the actual prices of goods and services you buy for the family and for them. Get them involved and immersed. Give them a chance to make decisions. This time, it’s real money. It’s a good chance to have them apply your play-money games from home to real-life circumstances. 



You’ve been there. You’ve done that. You were once a kid who cries persistently whenever your parents do not buy the toy or clothing you want. It’s impossible that you don’t comprehend what kids are feeling in such situations. At some point, you were also extremely stubborn because you were not yet the one earning money. 

Nonetheless, you can teach your children on how to be less of that kind of kid. You’ve heard of unbelievable new accounts where parents and their adult children get into legal charges against each other due to money matters, right? It’s unfortunate and saddening, but it happens in reality. In case you get into or are into finance-related issues, work with seasoned family and finance lawyers to help you. 

As early as their young age, you can teach and train your kids with the right perspective and the right attitude towards their needs and wants and towards money itself. Of course, whenever you can, you should make them happy by giving them their simple joys and wants, and you should let them be kids. It’s just that if you educate them nicely, your life and relationship now and in the future will be healthier with a good understanding of your priorities and finances. This will help you help them carry a smart outlook as they grow up and as they begin making their own money.  



Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Quality and well-researched writing is her worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. She is a daytime writer for Adams Lawyers, a team of professionals that offer well-rounded service for all legal needs. Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.

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