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For children to grow up and become respectable citizens, it is up to the parents to teach the child an appreciation of money. To live in the real world, we all need to know how to handle our finances, how much things cost and what we can and cannot afford. Teaching these values to children from a young age will no doubt help them in later life. They will grow to become responsible adults with an awareness of the financial world around them. To enforce these consistent teachings, children of age three and up understand how to work for the things you want in life.

1. With your child, draw up a chart listing duties around the house. When the child fulfils the duty, he/she may be rewarded with a treat such as a few pennies or perhaps a trip to the local park. Make sure that you explain the consequences of not doing a listed job – i.e. treats will be withheld until the job is done. This is particularly efficient if the child is saving for a particular type of toy.

2. Take them with you to the grocery store and show them how much each item costs. Make up a list of things you need to buy and a certain amount you have to spend. At the end of the shopping trip explain that certain lesser needed items need to be sacrificed when you have run out of money. This will teach them the difference between priorities and luxuries.

3. Wherever you go, keep enforcing how much things cost and how much money you have left over. If the child is old enough to receive a weekly allowance, do not buy extra treats for them. All the things that they want to buy for themselves must come out of their weekly money. This is a good and easy to understand way of showing them the value of their money. For this to work you need to be strong and not give in to requests of extra cash or treats. This will completely undo all that you have already done; showing them if they play up or complain long enough they will eventually get their own way. The idea is to show them what it is like in the real world.

Make sure you carry out these lessons in a fun and exciting way, children have a very shot attention span. You should see a difference in the child’s attitude towards money within a few months. The main rule is to keep it up. Lapsing back or undoing the good you have done will inevitably hinder the child. He/she needs these tools before going out into the real world. Leaving him to figure them out for themselves at a later age will make their adjustments much harder.