Start them young: Yes, you can have money talks with your preschoolers

If you are hesitant about discussing money matters with your child, relax. Experts say that letting your kids participate in these discussions--and even in decision-making--is beneficial to them. As your child learns about proper money management, you are saving their future from the consequences of not having learned essential financial skills.

But the question is: at what age should you start discussing money matters with your kids? According to financial expert Fitz Villafuerte, you can introduce basic financial concepts to your child as early as 3 years old!

Kids already know about spending money because they see their parents do it. Some even learn to order products online just by watching their parents. This leads to some funny to distressing surprises when the delivery man arrives!

Yes, money discussions should be a usual activity at home, but make sure to time it right. For example, when you use an ATM and your child happens to see you do that, explain to them what an ATM is, where the money comes from, and why is a bank account important. 

Whenever you go out shopping, buying groceries, or even ordering online, make that a takeoff point for discussing what a budget is. Explain the difference between needs and wants and why we prioritize spending on our needs first.

In other words, whenever you, as a parent, are using money or making money-related transactions (even paying tuition for example), these are learning moments for your child. They see that money is not an abstract mystery but a real part of your lives. More importantly, kids learn that there is a correct and incorrect way of using money and that spending and saving are in your control.

You can also discuss money matters in the form of games and stories. For example, the board game Monopoly is a way to teach kids about financial basics. There are also storybooks and picture books for kids that teach them about money. Another way to engage your child is through the use of digital content and mobile games that are now widely available.  

Of course, you should level up from your discussions to the actual application of these skills. After all, kids learn best by doing. One basic step is to help them open their own savings account. This is one of the best ways for them to apply the discussions you’ve had.

BDO makes it easy to open a Junior Savers Account with an initial deposit of as low as P100--an amount that is piggy bank-friendly! Don’t stress over the requirements and just visit the BDO branch near you.

You can also set up a Junior Savers Plan that allows you to add to your child’s initial fund by scheduling regular deposits using your BDO Online Banking account. Just set the amount and frequency for the transfer—all done conveniently online—and you are all set!

Learning about money can be easy, fun, and fulfilling for you and your kids. And the best thing about it is, you are helping them achieve a financially secure future. 

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