The ability to delay gratification can also predict how successful one will be as a grown-up. Kids at this age need to learn that if they really want something, they should wait and save to buy it.
Money lessons at early age set the tone for later on. “You really can’t start too early,”. For example “When a mother goes into a store, if she says to her children, ‘We don’t have money for this, they know she has credit cards,” So, she would say, “We’re here to buy a gift for X, and we’re not going to buy anything for you, because we’re not here for that.” Kids then quickly learn that going into a store doesn’t always mean you’ll buy something.
- When your child is waiting in line, say, to go on the swings, discuss how important it is to learn to wait for what he or she wants.
- Create three jars – each labeled “Saving,” “Spending” or “Sharing.” Every time your child receives money, whether for doing chores or from a birthday, divide the money equally among the jars. Have him or her use the spending jar for small purchases, like candy or stickers. Money in the sharing jar can go to someone you know who needs it or be used to donate to a friend’s cause. The saving jar should be for more expensive items.
- Have your child set a goal, such as to buy a toy. Make sure it’s not so pricey that they won’t be able to afford it for months. “Then it just gets frustrating, and it gets hard for them to wrap their head around. It’s really more about her being cognizant that she’s saving for a goal than, ‘Oh, I really need her to scrape together those $10 to buy the tutu.' You want to set them up for success,”. If your child does have an expensive goal, come up with a matching program to help her reach it in a reasonable timeframe.