While your role as a grandmother should revolve around giving treats and having fun with the little ones, you can drop in a few important money lessons throughout the years.

The grandkids crave your attention and will almost certainly respond well to your influence. The trick is to incorporate education into mutually enjoyable activities. Admit it – you don’t want to do homework with them. That’s their parents’ job.

So, how do you give the kiddos a lesson in frugality without boring them (and you) and finding yourself on the receiving end of a pint-sized eye roll? You need to get a little creative, that’s all.

 
 

Buying Second-Hand Stretches the Budget

Show your brood the benefits of shopping for near-new merchandise. I hold fond memories of my nana escorting me to our local thrift store nearly every week. It didn’t take long to appreciate how inexpensive the games and clothes were and how much more I could buy with my five-dollar allowance.

Yard sales are also rich sources of second-hand treasures. Think of how many goodies the kids can amass for less than 10 bucks. Consider bartering for small tables or bedroom furniture to paint or refurbish with each child. They will delight in choosing the pieces and the colors with you.

The Power of the Purse Comes with Tough Choices

A trip to grandma’s house should not be an open invitation to raid her piggy bank. Give the tots a daily stipend and the ability to decide how to spend it. You can provide a list of activities including the cost of admission for each.

Make sure to include free alternatives as well. Explain how much money will remain for sweets or toys with each choice. The discussion will help them prioritize and budget for the day. In fact, teaching them that ‘fun money’ is limited will benefit them for years to come.

The last thing you want is to watch a grandchild struggle with debt as a young adult because they never learned to separate wants from needs. If you are in that seemingly hopeless situation, check out this list of ways to alleviate debt quickly.

Making Money Feels as Good as Spending It

What is more fun than baking cookies and making lemonade with grandma? Selling them and making a little cash! That is, of course, after sufficiently sampling the products. Nothing beats the exhilarating experience of making your first sale as a fledgling entrepreneur.

At this point, a folding table, chairs, some change, and a poster board sign are all that is needed to make this mini business a reality. I am a sucker for any kid yelling, “Get your lemonade here!” Who isn’t?

Budgets Make Savvy Little Shoppers

Although they can seem less than personable, gift cards are presents that older kids relish on birthdays and holidays. Teenagers love the control and the pleasure of deciding what to purchase. Additionally, the allotted amount of each card teaches them to budget wisely.

For younger grandchildren, consider taking them shopping with your gift card. That way, you can participate and watch their little faces light up when they find the perfect toy.

Cooking is Fun and Less Expensive than Going Out

The ability to prepare tasty, yet inexpensive food will foster fiscal well-being throughout a child’s life. You can share family recipes and discover new favorites along the way as you introduce your grandkids to the joy of cooking.

After you have chosen a meal, make a list of ingredients and head out to the store. Grocery shopping will teach youngsters the costs of common items and help them identify rarer products they have not encountered before.

Be certain to give them a high five as you show them your receipt total. Celebrate a job well done.

While it’s not your responsibility to transform your progeny into financial wizards, you can easily incorporate small doses of fiscal wisdom into your time with them. Your grandkids will not only remember the lessons you taught them but cherish the memories you created together.

What money lessons do you want to teach your grandchildren? What was the best money lesson you learned from your grandparents? Does it apply to kids today? Please share your experiences and comments below.

Jen MonksJen Monks is a wife, mother, freelance writer and founder of Life Wise Lady – the business blog for women over 40. Her mission is to help midlifers and boomers create profitable businesses they love. Please contact Jen on her website.

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