By Tiffany Grant
Money is a touchy subject for a lot of people. It can be challenging to talk about, especially with kids and grandkids. But it’s essential to have open and educational conversations about money with the people in your life, including kids and grandkids. Teaching kids early will build a lifetime of good financial habits.
It is vital to get the whole family involved! The responsibility lies with parents and grandparents. Work in tandem with the parents or take the lead. Either way, the most important thing is to start. Families can grow stronger through these wealth-building conversations.
This article will discuss nine tips for grandparents to talk to grandchildren about money. We’ll also include examples of how to have these conversations! Education starts at home (or at Nana and Papa’s house).
It’s never too early to start talking to kids about money; they are never too young. The earlier you start, the better! You can begin by teaching them the basics, such as what money is and how it works, at an early age. As they get older, you can start discussing more complex topics, such as budgeting and saving. Be sure the conversation is age appropriate.
I introduced financial topics to my kids as early as five years old. We talked about money, what it is, and where it comes from. We started talking about budgeting and saving as they got a little older. Now that one is a teenager, we discuss credit scores, checking and savings account, and investing. Allow them to use their own money to create healthy spending habits instead of buying all the gifts.
Use Everyday Situations as Teaching Moments
You don’t need to sit down and have a formal conversation about money to teach your grandkids about it. Instead, you can use everyday situations as teaching moments. For example, if you’re on a trip to the grocery store, you can explain how coupons work or why comparing prices is important. Show them what you spend money on and why. This way, they can start learning about personal finance without realizing it!
If they are older, you can use everyday situations to discuss more complex topics, such as credit scores or investing. For example, if you’re talking about your credit score with someone, take the opportunity to explain it and how it works to the children.
Make it Relatable
When talking to kids about money, it’s crucial to make it relatable. Use examples and stories that they can understand and relate to. For instance, if you’re discussing saving money, you could tell them a story about how you saved up for your first car. You can work with them to set goals for themselves.
If you are talking about retirement, tell them a story about someone who didn’t save enough money and now can’t retire when they want to. This will help the kids understand why saving money is so important!
Keep it Positive
Even though money can be a sensitive subject, it’s essential to keep the conversation positive. This means avoiding topics that might cause stress or anxiety, such as debt or financial problems. Instead, focus on things like setting goals and making smart choices with money.
Also, talking about the emotions behind money can help take the sting out. For example, if you’re discussing a budget, explain to them why it’s essential to track your spending. This way, they can understand its reasoning and see that it’s not just a restrictive exercise.
Be Open and Honest
Another tip for talking to kids about money is to be open and honest. It’s important to let them know that you’re not perfect with your finances but are working hard to improve your situation. Talk to kids about money and the ups and downs associated with it. You can also use this opportunity to teach them the importance of goal-setting and saving up for things they want.
You can tell them how much money you make, save, and spend. You can also talk about any financial struggles you may have faced. Honesty will help build trust between you and the children. It will also allow them to ask questions freely without feeling embarrassed or ashamed.
Make the Conversation Fun
Another great tip is to make money conversations fun! You can do this by incorporating games or activities into your conversations. For example, you can play a game where you pretend to be different characters and see how they would save up for their dream vacation. This is a great way to teach kids about the different ways people save money.
You can have more serious conversations about money if the grandkids are older. This is an excellent opportunity to teach them budgeting, investing, and other financial concepts. You can also use this time to talk about your own experiences with money.
Be a Role Model
Another tip is to be a role model for the children regarding money. Teach kids how you save up for things, budget your money, and make responsible financial decisions. This will help them understand that these concepts are essential and that they can apply them to their own lives.
Allow them to tell you what they would do in a given situation. For example, if you’re at the store and see something you want to buy but know you shouldn’t, ask them what they would do. Explain the concept of delayed gratification. This is a great way to get them thinking about responsible money management.
The eighth tip is to use resources to help you have these conversations. Many excellent books, articles, and websites can help you educate kids about money. You can also find games and activities that will make learning about money fun for them.
Seek out the resources if you are struggling with what you know or how to start the conversation.
The ninth and final tip is to have patience. These conversations can be difficult, but they’re worth it. It’s important to take your time and answer any questions the grandkids have. They might not understand everything right away, but they will eventually.
You didn’t learn everything you know now overnight. It takes time to learn about money, and kids are no different. Be patient, and they will eventually get it. Keep planting the necessary seeds. A healthy relationship with money takes cultivation and time.
I hope you found these tips helpful! Remember, talking about money doesn’t have to be complicated or tedious. Just be open, honest, and patient, and you’ll be able to have great conversations with the kids in your life. And remember, adult children are not exempt. Even adults will always be your baby and can continue to learn from you!
About the author: Tiffany Grant
Tiffany Grant is an Accredited Financial Counselor and award-winning personal finance blogger, podcaster, coach, and educator. She has been featured on Yahoo Finance, CNBC, Essence, and Acorns as an expert on side hustles, business, and money. Tiffany has helped many people become more in tune with their money by providing financial education in a down-to-earth and relatable format!
Money Talk With Tiff has articles, podcast interviews, and other material on how to have a conversation about money with all ages, including an interview with a Gen Z student who explained what her parents did that worked for her.