August 22, 2013
The Importance of Teaching Children about Finances at an Early Age
Source: Sam Renick is the founder of “It’s a Habit,” a company devoted to teaching children great money habits starting at an early age. Through the character “Sammy Rabbit,” children learn about the importance of personal finance in a fun and exciting environment (thanks to stories, songs, and skits).
The money habits you pickup as a child are likely to stick with you into the future. For this reason, parents need to understand the importance of teaching their child about finances at an early age. And not just teaching, but doing so in a unique and creative manner.
For this piece, I got together with Sam Renick of It’s a Habit. When it comes to teaching children about personal finances, his company is the cream of the crop.
Over the years, Renick and his team have partnered with a variety of organizations including the Air Force Aid Society, the Department of Defense, and the Girl Scouts. Through these experiences, the company has been provided the opportunity to gather a wealth of first hand knowledge from the field on how to effectively communicate with both children and adults.
Teaching, Learning, and more
Once you learn more about It’s a Habit and the company’s loveable character, Sammy Rabbit, you will see why they have had so much success.
Here is what Renick had to share:
1. Why do you feel it is so important for children to learn about finances at an early age?
There are numerous reasons I think it is essential to start talking with children about great money habits as early as possible. It’s something my parents did with me. Children are under attack and in most cases defenseless from consumption messaging, which starts from birth. Many parents don’t talk to children about money. Most schools don’t teach personal finance and money management basics. Teens and young adults are being offered credit without income. Many young people are strapped with debt. As a financial advisor, parents repeatedly shared with me their despair for not having learned to save and manage money early in their lives. And recently, the University of Cambridge revealed that adult financial habits are formed prior to age 7. The list goes on, but those are many of reasons.
What everyone should understand if they don’t already, is children’s minds are like sponges. They absorb much more information than adults often give them credit for. If we can explain it, they can grasp it.
2. How does your approach, with the help of Sammy, improve the learning experience?
We use an interactive, multi media approach that includes stories, songs, activities, games, crafts, and in person appearances. We believe in getting kids involved as much as possible in the learning process. We employ a variety of methods for them to learn about personal finance concepts and great money habits. We place a strong emphasis on asset building, starting with saving money. Sammy Rabbit is a wholesome, likable and loveable friend kids can connect with and are eager to listen to. It’s all very strategic and purposeful. And, its fun.
3. What is the one thing, in your opinion, that holds parents back from teaching their children about saving, money management, etc.?
That’s a complicated question because there are a variety of factors at work. But if I had to pick one reason, I would say it would either be lack of awareness and/or they are not doing it themselves.
By now, you should have a solid understanding of why it is important to teach children about finances at an early age.
Remember, this doesn’t have to be boring. There are ways to teach your children while still having fun.