Oh the joys of having a four year old (who is almost five and cries almost everyday because she is not five yet). Madison has finally started noticing things – especially things called commercials. Every single commercial she sees she wants whatever product their are selling be it a pancake ball maker to a baby that swims (though she said she wanted that and a towel to dry her off too so she is able to think beyond the commercial). It has gotten to the point that she actually will take the remote and pause the TV to make sure you see what she wants (and no I am not kidding about that). Needless to say, we have started talking about money.
I will be honest — Madison has no concept of money whatsoever. However, we have explained to her that daddy goes to work to make money so we can buy things we want. (Madison asks every morning where daddy is and why does he have to go to work). This conversation is daily so hopefully one day she'll get it. She is too young to understand that 5 pennies is the same as a nickel. In her head, more coins equals more money. I am hoping that because we are starting to talk about money now already that she won't fall into the traps so many of us have. I don't want her to be one of the many Americans who carry loads and loads of credit card debt (which her parents do not. We pay off ours every single month. If she does choose to have credit cards, I want her to be smart about it. For example, the one credit card we have gives us 1% of purchases. That 1% is then directed to the principal on our mortgage). I want her to be able to live within her means and be happy (which her parents also try to do).
Capital One has stepped up to the plate and has developed a Moneywi$e eLearning tool to help us teach our kids about money. It is more for teenagers than my little ones. However, there are definitely some tips on there that I can start teaching my children now. I have to thank Parent Bloggers for bringing this to my attention.
When did you start teaching your children about money? Over at Bargain Life, there's a great article on the effects of couponing and the family.