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Modern parents are sometimes unhappy about how their kids don’t know the value of money. The manifesto of non-stop “buy me this and that” is tiring to manage, as well as total ignorance on how those crispy paper bills have gotten into the parents’ wallets in the first place.

It might not be easy to speak about money to a kid. But if you find the right words and stress the right issues, your child gets the first piece of knowledge on personal finance, which he would surely use as an adult later in life.

1) Where did we get the money?

Most likely your children are aware of the fact that mom and dad go to work every day. But we doubt that they’ve ever given a thought on what exactly do you do there and how much are you paid. Tell them about how your working day usually goes, how much energy and recourses do you invest to get a certain amount on a paycheck.

2) How much do things cost?

Kids aren’t good at understanding why can’t you afford to buy another toy car (even if it’s literally the 30th car in their toy box). Take a basket full of apples and show an example of how each apple is spent – one goes for buying food, another one – for clothes, the third one pays the gas for the car that takes the child to school, etc. When you run out of apples – it means all the money’s gone.

3) What sort of money are there?

Segregating money into virtual, bank cards and ATMs can be a challenge. Paper money is easily understood, but when it comes to the “invisible” funds, the situation gets trickier. Whenever you go shopping with children – allow them to pay (with cash or card). Demonstrate how the ATM works and show them payments when buying online.

4) How do I accumulate the money?

I want it all and I want it now – is the universal kid’s moto. This is why it’s super hard to come to terms with them – they don’t really care about those “waiting” and “holding” nonsense. Buy or make a piggy bank for a child. He or she could save up a small batch of the gifted, earned or pocket money. It’s also very important to define the final goal so that collecting wouldn’t become a thing of its own.

5) Can I play with money?

Playing is the most wonderful way to teach a youngster basically anything, and personal finance in particular. Playing monopoly or the “cashier-buyer” helps to develop communicative, planning, and accurate resource allocation skills.

6) Why does someone have more/less money than we do?

The answer to this complex question should be as easy and honest as possible. Yes, sometimes life happens in a way that you get to school by bus, while the other child comes in a fancy car. But everything has a dark side, and we never know the price the owner paid for that (maybe he has to work in a place he hates, or he never gets to spend time with his family). The most important thing worth mentioning is that while you are doing your best to provide for your kids, your priority is also to have a decent rest and spend time with loved ones.

7) How can I earn money?

Pocket money soon becomes sort of a habit, that’s not appreciated at most. Children spend those on public transport, snacks, or some small toys. And it’s nearly impossible to save them on a decent purchase. But on the other hand, nearly every 6- or 7-year-old is mature and independent enough to do an easy (but paid) job.

Please try to keep that fragile balance, where paying a child for collecting his toys at the end of the day is ridiculous (that’s his chore anyway) but asking him to sort out mom’s papers or clean dad’s car – is a legit paid service. Find whatever suits your family.

Questions on personal finance only seem difficult. When really,they are an inevitable part of growing up and becoming independent. Your role as a parent here is to teach your kids how to earn, spend and appreciate money.

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