By age four, many children will become familiar with the general concept of money simply through observation. Nowadays, they may see their parents use a debit or credit card (or maybe even a smart phone or watch) at the checkout stand before leaving a store. While they may still see the use of cash and coin, it won't be as common a sight as it was for the generations before them.
When you notice that your child is able to understand the concept of money, it’s a good time to start talking about it. You can start out by giving them a small amount of cash for themselves. The tangible nature of cash and coin make them excellent visual tools for teaching kids the value of money. Show them how to recognize the different values of coins and bills, or use your imaginations to pretend you’re exchanging money for goods at a make-believe store. You can even let them use both play money as well as a play debit/credit card to show them that either one can be used at the store.
Once a child has a firmer understanding of the value of money, you can let them start to earn a little bit of cash for doing simple tasks around the house. Decide beforehand what they can do to earn money and which chores they’re responsible for doing on their own without being paid.
When Should My Child Have a Bank Account?
While there’s no one answer to this question, it's a great idea to open a savings account under your child’s name early on. As their parent or guardian, your name will be listed on the account so you can make deposits and withdrawals as needed. You can also let your child continue saving their cash at home in a piggy bank until you feel they’re ready to begin depositing money into their account. A clear jar is a good alternative to a piggy bank, as it helps them to see how much money they're accumulating.
A great tool for teaching children to save is a Cyprus Dollar Dog account. This account is ideal for kids aged 12 and under, and can help them learn the importance of managing money. In honor of Credit Union Youth Month, we’ll give you $5 to get your child’s Dollar Dog account running when you open it in April.
Another excellent savings tool is a Dream Certificate of Deposit (CD). Open a Cyprus Dream CD during April for your child aged 18 and under, and we’ll match your initial deposit up to $25.
Click here to learn more about these offers. Give us a call at 801.260.7600 or visit any Cyprus branch if you have questions.