It is so fun watching kids learn, isn't it? Our kids are nine and seven, and they learn new things each day. Even during the summer, they learn lots of new things. As a personal finance blogging website, seeing kids and money connect is satisfying to watch. My wife talk about money with them and explain many of the basics, but many things they figure out on their own.
We went on a recent camping trip, and it stood out how much they've learned. Of course, many of these things they wouldn't be able to verbalize, but as a parent, it hit me that they are building an understanding. Here are a few money lesson I have seen our kids figure out.
Work For Your Money
Our kids have enjoyed visiting the park stores this summer. When camping, many campgrounds have small stores. They often sell ice cream, candy, and basic supplies. Our kids love going in their and want to buy small items. They've figured out that if they do some extra work around the campground, they can sometimes earn money. Picking up sticks for starting fires is a popular activity. We've not run out so far this summer!
Save For Costly Items
Our kids typically earn a dollar apiece for their work around the campsite. Sometimes this is enough for what they want. Other times, they want something that costs more. So, they've learned the concept of saving up for bigger items.
Better Items (Sometimes) Cost More
Kids have learned that not all candy costs the same. Sometimes, the premium stuff (or what they consider premium) is more than other stuff. They learn to make choices. They're also learning to differentiate and also to form their own opinions.
Working Together Can Pay Off
The kids went to one store where small bags of candy were a dollar each. Then, they saw that they were two for $1.50. They figured out that if they agreed to each get a bag, they would pay less. Seeing each of them walk away with that extra quarter was pretty cool!
You Have To Make Choices
That first time the kids walked into a store with some money in their hands, their eyes sparkled! Oh, the possibilities! But it didn't take them long to realize that they had to make choices. They didn't have enough for the haul they wanted. It's amusing to see them walk around and discuss their options. Picking out the right treat is serious business for kids!
Look For A Sale Sticker
They were pretty excited once when they came back having got an item on sale. A toy that was normally $2 was on sale for $1. And, they didn't have to do anything special like pool their money. They learn to watch out for sales stickers. If it's something they like, they realize they can get more for their money.
You Pay For Convenience
Our kids love candy bars. Of course they do! But, they know that their favorite candy bar isn't always the same price. It can be $1 in one store, $1.25 in a vending machine, and up to $2 in a park store. Why? Much of it has to do with convenience. Park stores charge more because they're offering the convenience to buy things without having to leave. The kids have learned that if they want something there, they may be paying more. They are figuring out that sometimes waiting and buying their candy ‘in town' is a more economical option. Of course, sometimes they choose to pay more, because they want candy now!
The first few times that my kids had to pay sales tax was eye opening. It really didn't make sense why they would hand over $2 for a $1.50 item, and only get 41 cents back. Where did the other nine cents go? Sales tax! They're now getting to the point where they expect it. But, they still don't like it! Since nobody likes paying taxes, I guess they've figured out that lesson early! Kids and money lessons don't always leave smiles on their faces!
It's really cool to see our kids learn about money. We've started making sure to bring them a few dollars on each trip. To me, it's an investment in their money education.
Readers, how do your kids learn about money? Do you have any kids and money learning stories to share? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks for reading.