Speaker: How early should I begin teaching my kids about money?
Janet Bodnar: Well, there is the funny answer to this, which is, as soon as kids learn not to put it in their mouth, you can start talking to them about money, but I also say that I am not a pushing parent. I am a pulling parent. So I don't think that you should try to teach your kids anything that they are not ready for. You really have to do this in an age appropriate manner and you can take your cues from your kids because as soon as they start asking you questions about money you can start answering them just as you would with anything else.
The question about money could be as simple as, mom can we go to McDonald's today for lunch and then you say, mom or dad, you say, not today because I don't have any cash today. Then the kid says, well, why don't you just go to the bank machine and get some. Instead of freaking out about this and saying, oh my gosh! Where do you think money comes from? Good question for them. Turn up the tables on them and ask them that question and of what you can explain to them that the bank is like a big piggy bank for mom and dad and just their piggy bank is sometimes empty until they put more money in the bank and sometimes your bank your piggy bank is empty too until you get paid and put more money in the bank. So, it gives them a little lesson in banking without going into the whole federal reserved system, without getting too complicated, but maybe the next time they won't ask you to go to McDonald's for lunch or they will say, do you have enough cash today to do it. At least that's the learning experience in itself.