Where Does Money Come From?

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November 3, 2016

Where Does Money Come From?

Ask kids this question, and enjoy a wide range of hilarious and eye-opening answers!

“From the ATM machine.”

“From your wallet.”

“Dad pays you, right?” (Ouch.)

Money might seem to grow on trees as far as your kids are concerned, but it is fall… and well, as the leaves dwindle with time, so can the bank account if we don’t help our kids understand that money is a finite resource! In the age of ATMs, debit cards and credit cards, it might look like money is a never-ending resource and that you can just go to the bank or a machine and get some, especially to a child.

Because young children may not have a connection yet to the fact that you go somewhere every day to work and get paid for that work in order to live, parents can be viewed as “money machines.” One way to expand their view is to help them understand where money comes from in the simplest of terms.

It can be helpful when answering the question “where does money come from?” to first find out what your child actually knows, and what they think vs. what is real.

A good starting question might be “Where do you think money comes from?” This will help you clarify what your child understands, as well as give you a chance to correct misconceptions. Then you might move on to “How do you think our family gets money to pay for things?” and share a simple answer about working and being paid for what you do.

If your child is curious about the literal aspect of where money comes from, you can give an answer about how physical coins and paper money are created—or share a video like this one from Reading Rainbow.

Another way to help your child understand money is to explain what the bank is. Share that it is a place to keep the money you earn and that it helps you keep track of what you have and spend. An older child could benefit from viewing your last few transactions in your online banking account, and you may choose to share with them what you pay for with cash, vs. automatic debits or by using your card.

Above all, make sure they understand that the bank isn’t paying you (wouldn’t that be nice, though…)—they are simply holding on to the money you have earned in a safe place until you need to use it.

Have you had a conversation like this with your kids yet? What did you say? Share your additional tips or thoughts in the comments.

Article by Dina Shoman

Dina Shoman Dina Shoman is a banking veteran who comes from a long family history in banking. Having built a successful career in the industry while still in her 20s, she became the youngest and first woman Executive Vice President at Arab Bank, holding board seats on the boards of multiple bank and nonprofit entities. By 2012, she was listed as the 3rd most powerful Arab business women in publicly owned companies in 2012 by Forbes Middle East and was nominated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in the same year.

Dina is the founder of inherQuests, a company that creates fun financial education products for kids. The company’s first products (Financial Fun Boxes) are focused on teaching girls as young as 5 years old financial literacy through money games for girls built as a curriculum of educational standards aligned to Common Core and which uses the experiential education and game-based learning models.

Dina served as Executive Vice President and Head of Branding at Arab Bank from 2006 to 2012 and served as a Member of its Board of Arab Bank plc in addition to other related entities such as Arab Bank Switzerland and Arab Bank Australia, as well as several reputable NGOs in Jordan like the Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation, the Jordan River Foundation and INJAZ. She currently holds advisory positions to startups, and volunteers with nonprofit organizations such Junior Achievement, Global Teacher Prize Award, and the International Youth Foundation.

Dina was born and raised in Jordan and educated in the United States. She holds a BS in Finance, and an MBA from Bentley University, as well as a Professional Certificate from Georgetown University in Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership.

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