Start with having your children do some chores around the house at age 3 or so. Age 5-7 start doing some work for money. Parents should set positive role models on responsibility and behavior towards money. We have to be intentional with this teaching. I recall about a year ago my son came to me asking for money to buy a new baseball bat. How much I asked? $200 his reply. No was my reply and with that he informed me he was heading out to wash to cars in the neighborhood. About 5 hours later he came back with $60. He decided $200+ for a bat was not for him. He learned some lessons as I did too. Working for stuff puts the price of stuff into perspective. Making choices is part of the learning and if I had just handed him the money what would I have been teaching him? I was extra proud when my neighbors informed me that my son did a great job and was very professional in the cash wash business and only age 12.
I recently read this guideline and found it useful to share.
Grade school ages 6 to 12
Discuss caring for possessions.
Structure an allowance: Most experts suggest a modest amount for being part of the family and doing certain basic household chores.
Provide jobs for pay. Do not over look lemon aid stands, washing cars, yard work, babysitting and pet sitting as money makers.
Encourage longer-term savings: consider matching any money they save for over a year.
Set limit around money, for example, not buying everything they want when you go shopping.
Introduce giving and philanthropy. Instruct them and take them to visit a person of place that benefits.
Teen years 13 to 18
Insist on summer employment or holiday breaks to fund their own ROTH IRA.
Guide them through their budget and a 1040 tax return.
Advocate smart consumerism: for example, discuss the messages in advertising and the impact of advertising on their purchases.
Discuss the intelligent use of credit cards and checking accounts. Be sure they open an account. Look at credit unions.
Explore investments on the internet.
Engage them in philanthropy: Encourage site visit and include them in evaluating gift decisions.
Teach them about giving and what motivates you to give. Share how different people give for various reasons as and it is alright to give for another reason than your reasons.
College years, age 18 and over
Work with them on a college spending budget.
Insist on some employment-summer to fund ROTH IRA.
Set up adviser-facilitated learning about investments.
Provide money for them to manage.
Explain the roles of trustee and beneficiary, if trust are used in your family.
Engage them in philanthropy: add them to your board of your philanthropy fund. Get them familiar with donor advised fund or community foundation concept from online resources. Is there a Philanthropy summit in your area to consider going to and learn.
Early on simple things like explain the home economics of buying stuff to make at home verses going out to get it prepared. Perhaps doing a home project and then discussing the economics of it. When the plumber comes to the house it is fine to discuss that costs with your kids. When I have done this it opens up several other conversations about various occupations and the opportunities for the future.