Kids are smarter than you think

If you have young kids, try talking to them about money and a budget — in regards to public finances or, even better, your own.

Last night, I spoke to Adam about something that was in our local news — the possible closure of some heritage museums due to city budget constraints. I brought it up because just a couple of weeks ago he went on his first ever school field trip to one of the museums now slated for the chopping block.

"Would it be sad if the city closed the museum and other children didn't have the chance to go like you did?" I asked.

After pondering the question for a while, he agreed it would be sad. So I asked him if it were up to him, what would he do to save money for the city, while still keeping the museum open so other kids could benefit from it.

First he suggested building some sort of machine in our basement to keep the museum open. Which, to be honest, is the kind of creative yet nonsensical answer I was expecting from a five-year-old. But then his eyes lit up. "I know!" he said. "They could close it on Fridays."

I was blown away. My kindergartener had figured out a way to cut back on the expense. Now, whether or not this is a feasible solution for the city isn’t really the point — it proved to me that he is capable of understanding the concept of cutting costs, and how to problem-solve to find savings.

If you have young kids, try talking to them about money and a budget — in regards to public finances or, even better, your own. It's amazing what they are able to comprehend, and the sooner they start thinking about these ideas, the better equipped they will be to make smart financial choices down the road.

What's the most surprising thing your child has ever said to you about money?

About the Author

Tamar Satov

Managing Editor, CPA magazine
Tamar is a journalist specializing in business, parenting and personal finance. She blogs regularly in this space with advice and anecdotes on her efforts to raise a money-smart kid.

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