As you reflect on the past year and make new resolutions, consider sitting down with your kids and making a money goal together for 2019.
The goal doesn’t have to be high stakes; just something that can teach them about managing their money. Some ideas, though, of course, these can vary depending on your child, and you should talk through with them what they’d like to do over the course of the year:
Youngsters (4-7): Save change in jar, manage small weekly allowance
Grade Schoolers (8-11): Donate money from allowance, save $x each month
Middle Schoolers (12-14): Open checking and savings accounts, earn money from jobs for friends and family members, practice a budget
High Schoolers (15-17): Get a part-time job, open a Roth IRA, save specifically for college, buy individual stock, learn how to budget
Set up some kind of points or check-in system so that you can keep tabs on them throughout the year. Reward them for making progress: If it’s a saving goal, you could offer a $1 for $1 match, or a percentage of the total, for example. Keep a visual chart in the kitchen or family living area so you can keep track of progress together. And encourage them if they encounter a set-back.
Schedule your check-ins in your phone or calendar app so you don’t miss them (and if your kid is an irascible teen, make sure it’s in their cal, too, and use bonuses to sweeten the deal). Much like with your own goals, holding your kids accountable will be key to their financial education.