There are several money concepts to teach young kids that will equip them with life. The main goal is to get them started early so the money lessons will be deeply rooted in them. That way, no influence can sway them to make the wrong financial choices.
Like everything else, parents carry the responsibility of teaching the first lessons to their children. It is your burden to take because your kids are exposed to the values and examples that you will set before them. That is why you need to be very careful about how you will act whenever they can see you.
What is the parents’ role in educating their child about money?
The collated data and statistics from FinancialEducatorsCouncil.org revealed the following information from various sources.
- 50% of those who practice financial monitoring learned it from their parents – 2008 Financial Literacy Survey, by NFCC and MSN.
- 93% of parents worry about their children’s financial mistakes as 69% feel they are not prepared to teach their kids about money – 2008 Parents and Money, by Charles Schwab.
- Majority of college students mentioned that their main source of personal finance information are their parents while ⅔ of parents know that money lessons are part of their responsibility – The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
- 79% of parents view themselves as positive financial role models for their children but only a few would take advantage of learning opportunities every day – Capital One.
Obviously, both parents and children know that the former is the source of the early financial lessons. That means you need to get your financial act together before you start having kids. You do not only have to make sure that you are financially able to meet the needs of your kids. You also have to display the right attitude towards it because what they see in you will have a lasting effect on their education.
6 movies that can teach your kids valuable lessons about money
The good news is, there are so many ways for you to teach money lessons to your kids. You can relate it to just about anything. In fact, there are even financial lessons from a basketball game. So if your child is into sports, you can use this to make the lessons interesting to them.
But if not, you can always search for lessons in movies.
That is right. Everyone, children, and adults alike can benefit from money lessons in certain films. Here are movies that we believe can help you educate your child about the right financial concepts and behaviors.
The Hunger Games
Katniss Everdeen is proving to be a great heroine for a lot of kids. But if you look at the premise of the movie, you will find valuable financial lessons too. The most prominent lesson that we found is all about prioritizing skills and not acquired materials. Some of us think that acquiring a lot of things will prove to be more beneficial in the long run. Just as Katniss was forced to rely on her skills to survive and not on the things found on the Cornucopia, teach your kid to prioritize investing money on their skills. Value your education and save up for it instead of wasting finances on clothes or toys. Eventually, their skills will enable them to find more money – just as Katniss used her skills to survive even before she got her hands on a bow.
Restraint is also the key to avoid disasters. At the beginning of the game, the weapons and survival kits on the Cornucopia lured most of the tributes. Most of them perished of course. As gory as that may be, let your kids know that not being able to retrain their spending will help them avoid long-term financial problems.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Going along the same lines as the Hunger Games, the movie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory should help you teach your kid about integrity and money. Just as Charlie prioritized his integrity over having a lot of money. Charlie choosing his family over ownership of the chocolate factory should teach your kid that there are more important things in life than having a lot of money. We want them to take risks and earn enough to feed themselves. But if the pursuit of too much money will keep them from the more important things in life, then the money lessons from this film should get your kid back on track.
The animated film, Up, is filled with a lot of deep lessons, not just about money, but about life in general. But in terms of the financial lesson, the most evident lesson is all about saving and having an emergency fund. Carl and Ellie had a dream of traveling to Paradise Falls. They tried saving but since they do not have an emergency fund, every mishap forced them to use the funds intended for the Paradise Falls trip. If they only separated the funds and put more effort into saving, they would have gone on the adventure together. Saving up for dreams and financial goals is one of the best money lessons that you can give and Up is the perfect movie to illustrate how failing to save can lead to regret.
When it comes to lessons about finances, you wouldn’t think that Harry Potter has a spot in it – but it does. It is actually quite simple. When Harry was a child, he thought that his parents died without leaving him anything. That’s where he was wrong. There are two important skills that you can point out to your child here.
The first is how his parents saved up for him. James and Lily Potter never thought that they will not live to see their child grow up. But despite that, they were able to amass a small fortune that eventually helped pay for the schooling needs of their child.
The second lesson is about money management. When Harry turned 11, he found out about the small fortune tucked away in Gringotts. How did he react? He certainly was wiser than a lot of lottery winners today. Year after year, he continued to live the way he did in the past, wearing hand me downs and owning second-rate items. He only got what he needed from his money and never once thought about splurging it.
In another animated film, Aladdin, we find some money lessons that revolve around relationships. In the movie, Aladdin sought riches because he wanted to impress Princess Jasmine. This is a popular and very wrong perspective about how money should be used to get people to like you. Let your kid know that being true to yourself, regardless of your economic background is more important in building truthful relationships. If a friendship or any form of relationship is built on material things, then it will not last – unless they both go through life-threatening situations to make it work. Bottom line is, just don’t make it a basis to be close to someone else.
Lastly, we have The Hobbit as one of the films with great money lessons. The main lesson that you can teach your kid here is about taking risks and reaping the rewards. This may be reserved for older kids but feel free to introduce it to your younger children too. The lesson is all about how Bilbo Baggins had to get out of his comfort zone and take risks in order to gain the riches that he is bound to have in the end. There is a bit of a spoiler alert here since the third installment has yet to be released later this year. Anyway, the book mentioned that Bilbo will become rich in the end. But make sure to stress out that he would never have that chance if he refused to take on risks.
There are probably more films out there that provide great money lessons but these are the most popular ones that children can really relate to. While you are pointing out these concepts, make sure to avoid the wrong financial lessons that we got as kids. Best to keep these misconceptions hidden from them.
Tips when teaching financial lessons to your children
When you are teaching your kid about money lessons, there are a few tips that you ought to know.
- Know the lesson that is appropriate for their age. There are sites that will help you identify the appropriate lesson that your child can understand. You can visit MoneyAsYouGrow.org to find out what to teach your kids based on age. Of course, it is still up to you because you know your child best but the site could give you helpful guidelines nevertheless.
- Relate lessons to things they encounter every day. One way to do that is just like what we did now – to relate the money lessons to movies. Another is to relate it to their favorite TV shows. You can even teach them financial lessons while buying things. An article from MoneyNing.com talked about such an encounter with their child. Maybe you can take after them for some tips.
- Do not underestimate a child’s ability to understand money lessons. Lastly, never underestimate the ability of your child to absorb what you are teaching them. They are really remarkable even if you introduce complicated concepts to them. In fact, in one of your lessons, you might be surprised at how simple and uncomplicated their views can be about money.