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Teaching kids about money during holidays

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Many of us had piggy banks when were young, but some were better than others at actually putting coins into it.

So how do you teach kids to become financially responsible?

Financial planning teachers WBTV spoke with say creating incentives and financial habits early in life will pay off in the long run for your children.

These skills set the foundation for a lifetime of better financial choices.

Elementary school teacher Barbara Parks says financial savvy is a critical skill we all need.

"I start off with looking at wants versus needs and then from there we look at how to set goals," said Parks. 

"From there we develop a budget looking at their allowances."

Parks is a fifth grade teacher at Barnette Elementary in Huntersville.

She says Christmas is a perfect opportunity to start a dialogue about family finances.

And one of the best ways to learn about money is hands-on experience.

Start by giving children a small allowance.

Then, if there's a new game, toy, or outfit your child wants - have them save up their allowance, instead of just buying it for them.

A savings account is also a great learning tool for kids. It can help teach responsibility and that some things in life are worth waiting for.

Teachers also recommend including your children in discussion on cost of household expenses such as dinner, groceries and vacations. These discussions give children a sense of real-world prices.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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