It never before crossed my mind that pizza could be the key to teaching kids about saving money. I, like most parents, tried to get mine to turn off the lights, TV, and computer when they were finished. And, like most parents, instead of “please turn it off”, our children clearly heard “if you can find a switch anywhere in the house, please make sure to turn it on and keep it on”.
After more time than I would like to admit, I finally realized that they were not intentionally scheming against me, nor were they secret agents planted by the electric company, but they were forgetting to flip the switch because they didn’t understand that electricity costs money and that money is valuable.
The following week, I took the kids to the store specifically to buy ingredients to make pizza. They even helped count out the money and hand it to the cashier. That night, while we feasted as a family, I connected the dots for them. Lights use electricity, and we have to buy electricity like we buy our food. If we don’t have to spend money on electricity, we can spend some of that money on pizza.
Click. The lights went on inside their crusty little heads and off everywhere else.
It’s never too early to start teaching your children the importance of Godly stewardship and financial responsibility. And what better time to teach kids about money than when they’re learning to count?
Turning day-to-day activities into learning experiences can make it easy and even fun to teach kids about money. Instead of saving electricity for pizza, it can just as easily be saving coins in a piggy bank to help the missionary pictured on your refrigerator.
There are endless everyday ways to introduce even the youngest learners to financial education. Trips to the store, ATM, or a restaurant can be a great way to start a discussion about your Christian values and how you use money. ECCU offers many helpful resources about how to talk to your kids about money and raising fiscally fit kids. (Throughout the article, you can click on the bolded, italicized titles to grab some great resources.)
For homeschooling parents working to instill a wide range of academic understanding, teaching financial education to preschoolers is a great way to integrate math, social studies, art, language arts and science lessons. Here’s a few ideas for young learners:
- Count coins. Recognizing pennies, dimes, nickels and quarters by playing coin identification games is a natural way to talk about the value of money.
- Play store. Send your kids “shopping” for grocery items from your own panty, and pay using real currency or play money. You can serve as the cashier to help with money counting. The next time you’re shopping together, they’ll have a better understanding of the value of money.
- Clip coupons. Cut your kids in on the savings action by clipping coupons together and then have them match with the pictured products while shopping.
Nearly anyone with children can agree that kids as young as 3 years old can grasp financial concepts like saving and spending if it is put into a context they understand. Teaching financial concepts early also allows parents to integrate biblical principles into their children’s perceptions from the very beginning, creating natural transitions into tithing, stewardship and generous giving as children mature.
You can reinforce this message simply by practicing the lost art of “piggy bank savings” with your kids. By teaching them to save, they’ll learn the value of money and how to distinguish between wants and needs. Plus, you’ll be able to teach kids to give first by talking about the importance of sharing the abundance of what they have.
And when they’re ready to transfer their piggy bank savings, ECCU offers a variety of savings account options here. For kids just getting started, there’s a basic savings account. As they get older, a money market savings account might make more sense. We even have a special homeschool rate to help students get the most for their money.
Evangelical Christian Credit Union (ECCU) stands with homeschooling families with offers and resources that are specifically designed to benefit your unique lifestyle. In fact, right now they are offering a two year HSLDA membership FREE when you or a friend becomes a member of ECCU.
See what your family is missing. Learn More about ECCU today.