An article in Credit Union Magazine was brought to my attention recently. It is full of great information that will help us better teach our kids the value of money.

The article is called Born Consumers by Dick Radtke. I can’t think of a more fitting title. We’ve all seen that it is very easy to learn to spend money, the difficult task is learning to spend wisely.

The article suggests that we can start teaching wise spending as early as preschool age. After studying financial literacy programs for children from preschool to third grade, the author offers these great tips to help us teach our children at an early age:

Experience is key: Kids are more likely to understand the value of money if they see decisions parents are making at the store. Try to ‘think aloud’ the decisions you are making about spending and saving.

Practice makes perfect: Practice counting coins and bills with children. This can be much more meaningful than counting coins on a sheet of paper.

Teachable moments: Bringing kids to the credit union with you helps them see what a transaction is like. Use times like this to teach financial basics like putting money into an account before getting money out. Also, check out the Finances for Kids toolkit by Sesame Street. The website is full of great ideas to help you foster basic financial skills early in your child’s life.