By Ann Saylor

You know the families with spoiled kids who are always throwing money at leisure without concern? And the families who control their children’s spending down to the penny? When it comes to money, it’s best to avoid both of those extremes. But there is a happy medium! It’s all about finding the right opportunities to talk about money. Here are some easy do-at-home or on-the-go tips for helping tweens understand money management.

Look for opportunities to talk. When your tween accosts you with the “I want this; I want that”, open up dialogue about spending, giving, and saving. Here are some of the conversations that we’ve had in our family lately:

  • “You only have $5. If you spend it on this, then you won’t be able to do that. Why don’t you take some time to think about how you’d like to spend your money, instead of making an impulse buy.”
  • “Would you rather spend your gift money on arcade games that will only last a few minutes, or save for something you can enjoy longer? Which would be more valuable to you over time?”
  • “The Sullivans have money to spend on that, because they’re not saving for a vacation this summer. Think about all the things you’re looking forward to when we get there!”
  • “I know you’d really like to have that, but you don’t have the cash for it right now. Why don’t you put it on your wish list for future gifts or purchases?”
  • Dip your toes in the water.Do you have 10 minutes to spend on a financial activity with your family? Try one of these creative ways to explore financial topics:

  • 10 Minutes Together: Taste Test: A quick lesson in money management, value shopping, and nutrition!
  • 10 Minutes Together: Tracking Your Savings Goals: A quick lesson in goal setting, tracking, and celebrating!
  • 10 Minutes Together: Points for Life: A budgeting and planning game that will get kids excited about their future!