We were at the grocery store and she noticed a toy and asked if she could have it; I told her that I didn’t have the money to buy it and my daughter, 4 years old at the time, suggested I use the card in my wallet! I was stumped but realized she understood that a transaction had taken place.
That evening I had a conversation with my wife about starting and introducing an allowance where she would receive $2 a week and with the help of a calendar, we set her first goal which was to purchase a lego set, and thus, started her first money management lesson.
Starting an allowance helped elaborate a powerful concept that we all struggle with- needs and wants- to ensure security and to further help both our daughters understand the reason they get an allowance was explained like so: we broke it down into NEEDS and WANTS. Whatever you need, as in food, shelter, family activities, Mommy and Daddy provide. Whatever you want, such as Legos, candies, etc., you receive an allowance and can plan and save for.
High schools are only now considering introducing basic financial concepts to students in the last year of secondary. In my opinion, money management skills should start at home and at a much younger age.