Teaching Los Niños About Financial Responsibility

One of the best lessons that padres can teach their hijos is how to handle money. In fact, it’s never too early to start. Since figuring out where to begin can be difficult for most parents, Las Fabulosas breaks down how to put kids on the road to financial freedom.

Keep It Simple: There are only four things you can do with money: “Give-Invest-Save-Spend,” says Lori Mackey, creator of Prosperity4Kids.com, a financial literacy website geared toward helping children develop financial plans of their own. Focusing children on a limited range of options makes organizing their money much easier.

New Words: Engage los niños with palabras and who-what-where-when-how questions such as, “Why do you think it's important to save money?” and “What type of charity would you like to donate to?” Teaching them new words and getting them to share their ideas about money will help build their confidence.

Create Stories: “Picture books are so engaging because kids can see themselves in the story,” says Mackey whose book, Money Mama & The Three Little Pigs, takes readers “on a magical journey through the wonderful world of money where they can imagine being part of the characters in the books they read.” Mackey points out that reading to kids about situations they can relate to “builds the scaffolding in their little brains.”

Play Games: Monica Olivera, creator of the Latina home-schooling blog MommyMaestra.com, had her kids make three banks out of coffee cans. “They covered the outside with construction paper, decorated them, and wrote “Savings,” “Spending,” and “Giving” on each one. Next Monica created “forms” to record how much money was in savings, which they check every month or two. The goal is to motivate the kids to keep saving. “If they haven’t taken any money out, I give them an extra dollar,” she explains. “If they have added to their savings, I give them $2.”
by Shirley Velásquez