Your threenager is watching you, like some kind of baby Netflix. When it comes to money, they’ve picked up a thing or two. They see that money and credit cards get “stuff”. They have neither. Major bummer.
Counting and stacking coins to make dollars will give your toddler a felt sense of money and a subtle sense of agency and power. Welcome to Step One on the Path to Plutocracy. Kidding, kidding.
Money may be virtual, but it’s helpful for your kids to see, touch, count, and understand it, before it disappears for them for life. If it’s already disappeared for you, no problem. You can talk about money in a way your kids will understand. Toys and tradeoffs.
Use moments of decision making (this toy or that toy? This cereal or that one?) to help your toddler understand the concept of tradeoffs. Your kid may not be able to pronounce “resource allocation” but they get what it means, and what it really means is that that little mind is learning how to budget, and quickly becoming a financial genius.
Studies show we’re willing to pay up to 100% more for something when we pay with a credit card. Learning to recognize money is an important part of building a relationship with value. Start this process now, to help lock in values around saving and sharing.
(Think of it as the lesson your “Internet Shopping Habit” is sharing with your younger self, who, in this case, is your three-year-old. Whoa, meta.)