Five ways to teach your kids about dollars and sense

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

Barbara Stewart, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:09 PM ET

Want to teach your kids about money without nagging them or forcing them to take boring financial literacy tests? Try these five tips, as told to me by successful women I have interviewed:

1) Give your kids a 'feel' for money

Lillemor from Stockholm told me: "My father was my major influence. He ran his business with cash and he would make a point of showing me the cash. I always knew the pink bills (1000 krona) were the best ones. I never questioned my own ability to run a business, it came naturally to me. I made sure to give my two children money every week so they could 'feel' it and go out and buy things with it. It is important to get a feel for money early on."

2) Travel with your family and see the world

Mandy from Toronto said: "Circumstances forced my parents to move from Ireland to Canada when I was young. Our lifestyle changed a number of times and this really taught me that money doesn't define you. Every five years I make it a priority to travel with my family for a few months. When we were in Kenya my kids watched as a young boy cut a Mentos candy in two to share with his sister. They saw there was no greediness or consumption for consumption's sake. Travel brings joy and gives value in your life."

3) Lead by example

Maria from Madrid shared: "(My mother) had some career opportunities that her father didn't allow her to pursue. Through years and years of hard work and without getting a degree, she ended up with a very influential position in a bank. At home, she was involved with my father in all the financial decisions and invested in the stock exchange and real estate opportunities. Growing up I thought this was normal. Now I have no problem making financial decisions or understanding financial matters."

4) Give your kids some money

"When I was 13, my mother gave me the equivalent of 30 euros." According to Zurich-based Ana. "This seemed like a fortune to me at the time. I went to the cinema, then on to Burger King, and then I spent the remainder on little gifts for my family members. In retrospect, I see that these were my first financial decisions and they were very telling about my personality. From there I learned that it is important to actually keep some of the money."

5) Help your kids find a job

Marita from Sweden: "The best way of teaching the value of money to our children is to get them to start work early. They will quickly figure out the link between work and money. If you stand still for six or eight hours in a kiosk, you learn to put up with customers that are slow to make decisions or in nasty moods."


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