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Piggy bank with coins (Jason Verschoor/iStockphoto)
Piggy bank with coins (Jason Verschoor/iStockphoto)

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Teaching kids about charity Add to ...

My daughter gets so excited when there is a food drive at school. She raids my pantry and hauls away all the canned goods to throw into the big box in her school hallway. She's just as enthusiastic about raiding my wallet for coins to put in the charity collection can in her classroom.

While I'm glad to see how much she likes giving to others, I wonder if she would be as generous sharing her own money or treats or toys.

Teaching kids about giving is just as important as teaching them about saving and spending. It's a life value that can be learned early on.

Several of my friends that have started their children on an allowance make charity a part of the deal. One couple I know gives their child a weekly allowance of nine dollars, one dollar for each year of his age. Each week, he's expected to set aside two dollars for saving and one dollar for giving.

Ideally, you want your kids to appreciate the importance of charity, rather than feel resentful over having to part with the proceeds of their piggy banks.

Susan Beacham, a kids' financial literacy expert, by giving your child one week to find a charity or cause they would like to support.

"Start the process by talking about what your children love-animals, sports, playgrounds, reading," she writes on her blog. "Show them how all of the things they love present an opportunity for them to donate."

At the end of the week, have a family meeting to talk about the cause. "Promise to match their donation if they can convince you to help based on their reasoning for choosing that charity," Susan says.

A former investment banker, Susan came up with to help kids budget for giving, along with saving, spending and investing. At $14.99 (U.S.), it's an easy and tangible tool to help your kids set aside money for those in need.

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