By Lori Alaniz
Kids are very intelligent and often astound their parents at a very early age, as to just how smart they can be. Any observant child can tell you, that no money
doesnt grow on trees, it comes out of ATM machines, but why do that when you can just charge it?
These attitudes may seem harmless and cute at first, but the fact is that these early notions can lead to financial irresponsibility in the future. With the national debt now at a staggering 17 Trillion dollars, which equates to approximately $54,000 per person, according to Brillig.com. It is imperative that children start learning how to manage money better than we do. Research suggests that kids are capable of learning about money as early as 5 (money.cnn.com).
The Department of Education has recently supported plans to make personal finance a pivotal part of the secondary school curriculum, but that support has yet to trickle down to the primary school level. Thousands of primary schools across the U.K have already started instituting
simple money management programs which have met with great success (The Guardian). While the United Kingdom has had success with these initiatives there remains to be a shortage of such classes offered in the United States.
Money Muchkids is one such company, in the U.S that seeks to teach kids from the ages of 5-8 years old these valuable life skills. Through countless hours of research they develop the most effective age appropriate curriculums for these kids. However simple these beginning steps seem, it is also evident that these habits learned early will determine how they spend their money in the future (money.cnn.com).
The earlier we start the better the outcome. Many experts are trying to determine the best age for kids to start learning about money. Some suggest that learning should begin as soon as the child is old enough to not eat the money (life.familyeducation.com). However the mean acceptable age seems to average out between the ages of 5 to 8. There are many concepts that can be understood by this age group such as: money identification, the difference between needs and wants, basic budgeting and how to handle an allowance.
All of these skills and more can be taught in an extracurricular program such as the ones offered by money munchkids, at a fraction of the cost of a private tutor. With such promising statistical support it can safely be assumed that teaching financial responsibility to children early on, is both possible and extremely beneficial.
1. “Financial education for kids” money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/money101/lesson12/ Retrived on January 15, 2014.
2. www.brillig.com/debt_clock/ Retrived on January 15, 2014.
3. “Teaching kids about money: Goals by age” life.familyeducation.com/money-and-kids/money/47957.html Retrieved on January 15, 2014.
4. “How parents influence money habits” Msnmoney.com
5. “Primary schools should teach money lessons” The Guardian Money Blog.