Part of turning over a new financial leaf means helping your children learn that they reap what they sow: Good financial habits instilled early will pay off for both you and them. So how do you teach them?
CHANGE YOUR HABITS: Discussing money in the language your children speak — play — will make a difference. Investor Warren Buffet has distilled his financial wisdom into a series of learning tools and games called The Secret Millionaires Club. Some are free, but for $20, you can download a business-in-a-box (what else — a lemonade stand) from Amazon.com, which ships internationally. A DVD with episodes of an animated series that features financial and entrepreneurial lessons is about $13.
If your approach is a little more old-school, you probably can't beat Hasbro's board game Monopoly, available in 111 countries, in 43 languages. The most coveted property space in the US English-language version is Boardwalk; in the UK its Mayfair while in Spain, it is named “Paseo del Prado” and in France, “Rue de la Paix."
"What remains constant (in all versions of the classic game) is that you are buying, selling, paying bills, and even paying taxes," wrote New York City-based Laurie Schacht also known as the Toy Insider Mom, in an email to BBC Capital. The latest version is Empire, available at Amazon. It allows kids to buy and sell brands including Xbox, Coca-Cola and Samsung.
CHANGE YOUR MINDSET: Parents often reach for something to buy when they want to impart a lesson to their children, but the most important way to instruct your children is by example, said John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Group.
If you have good financial habits and show kids you are able to delay gratification, they will notice. If you need a little help in that department yourself, you can always resort to a kitchen safe. For $45, you can buy a safe, set the timer, and lock your credit cards away. (Photo credit: Thinkstock)