Children are not born with “money sense.” Children learn about money by example and experience, beginning at a very young age. Parents are an important influence on what and how children learn about money. It is never to early to start teaching sound money management skills. Begin teaching basic principles of money as soon as children can understand that money is needed to buy the things they enjoy.
Much of what your children learn about money is not from the conscious efforts you make to teach money management. Children are great imitators. Children pick up your values, attitudes, and money habits by watching and listening to you. In fact, you do not have to say anything to pass along money attitudes, habits, or decision-making styles.
If you shop with a list, your children will probably shop with a list. If you always spend money before it is earned, you may have a hard time teaching children to save. Children learn from observing you and others in the grocery store, post office, bank, toy store, mall, and home. Many parents are amazed at what children have learned about money through observation.