SOURCE: BMO Harris Bank

March 21, 2013 11:47 ET

BMO Harris Bank Financial Tip of the Week: Money Lessons for Kids Ages 9-12

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - Mar 21, 2013) - As part of BMO Harris Bank's ongoing commitment to financial literacy and Making Money Make Sense, BMO Harris is providing weekly financial tips. This week's tip offers ways to teach kids ages 9-12 about money.

As your kids enter the pre-teen years, you may have noticed they still require plenty of guidance even if they've started asserting their independence. This is especially true when it comes to financial matters. Ideally, you want to reach the point where your kids can manage their money responsibly.

To help steer your kids in the right direction, BMO Harris suggests the following tips:

Give an allowance. (If you have the financial resources to do so) Your child is ready for an allowance when he or she begins recognizing money's value. Try giving the same amount each week so your child can get used to budgeting the amount for expenses such as snacks, movie tickets and toys, as well as a small portion to deposit into savings. The allowance should be based on your own finances and how much you think your child needs to spend each week.

Allowances help kids get familiar with budgeting so as they start making money in their teen and adult years, they know how to spend and save it wisely.

Teach the difference between needs and wants. Kids sometimes have trouble grasping the difference between things they need and things they want. Help them learn this lesson by using scenarios that are relevant to them. For example, they need to have money to purchase food for lunch. However, a new toy is a want because it's not something that's necessary for living. Your best strategy is to help your kids understand they need to budget enough money to take care of their needs and the remaining amount can be spent on wants.

Encourage charitable giving. One of the easiest ways to teach your kids the importance of charitable giving is to include them in volunteer activities you participate in. For example, if you help at a soup kitchen once a week, have your child come along to serve beside you. Once they form a connection with an organization, they'll be more likely to want to help support it with a monetary donation. Instead of just telling your kids where to put their money, find an organization or cause they feel passionate about and want to get involved with directly.

Put yourself in a comfortable place and get started with helpful steps.

The Learning Center is brought to you by BMO Harris Bank, WGN, CLTV, WGN AM 1070, Chicago Tribune, RedEye and Hoy.

About BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and $542 billion in assets (as of Jan. 31, 2013).

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