Start early when it comes to introducing children to basics about money.
Even with young children, you can start with concepts such as explaining the difference between coins and bills. From there introduce the idea of VALUE by assigning a dollar amount to toys or even bartering - for example ask your child if she thinks trading her Barbie for a cupcake is a fair exchange.
Other opportunities to teach kids could come from simple things such as eating out. Try having your child participate with you when paying for the meal... even if it means just letting them handle the money. They'll soon recognize the difference between the costs of a fast food meal compared to eating at a nicer restaurant. When they're a little older, ask your children to help with calculating the tip - this also assists with developing their math skills.
Lastly, there are some great websites such as www.themint.org. This is a nonprofit site that has great interactive tools and games for kids and teens. They also offer a newsletter entitled, Perfectcents, which targets young teens, middle school through high school. The newsletter is easy to read and addresses issues that families face every day.
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