Host: What are some everyday ways to teach my children about money?
Janet Bodnar: You don't have to actually sit your child at your knee and take it a special hour a day to talk about finances because there are just going to be a lot of natural opportunities. If you and your spouse for example are discussing whether to get the old car fixed or to buy a new car, that's a learning experience for the kids because they are going to be listening in on this. You are going to be discussing this on the way to soccer practice. The kids want a new video game system and you say, "Well, do you really need a new video game system? Is the old one going to work just as well? Do you need a new one? Who is going to pay for it? Should this be on your dime or should it on our dime?
"These are just financial lessons that you can teach your kids just in everyday car conversation. If you are going to the grocery store with your kids make it a learning experience. Certainly, older kids can help you shop. They can take a part of your list, they can compare prices that you see on the supermarket shelves or do your own taste test between the store brand soft drink and the leading national brand soft drink and buy both of them, take them home, see if the kids can tell the difference. Those are fun things to do and they can decide is it worth the extra money or is it not worth the extra money.
Those are fun things you can do, playing games with your kids, board games like traditional games like Monopoly or the Game of Life or fun things that you can do with your kids that teach them about money and reading books about money. Even in the Berenstain Bears which is a very popular series for younger kids have a couple of good books on the subject of personal finance, read them.