10 Ways to Talk Money at the Dinner Table

Let’s face it: between always-on smartphones and never-ending practices, it isn’t easy to gather the family for family dinner on a regular basis. But that challenge hasn’t made it any less important.

According to the University of Florida, “frequent family dinners have a positive impact on children’s values, motivation, personal identity, and self-esteem.” When it comes to financial literacy, the importance of dinner table conversations is no different.

How you talk about money — from budgeting and saving to managing debt and investments — will shape your child’s perspective for decades to come. But if you’re like many parents, it’s one thing to believe that your words have power. It’s another challenge altogether to know what to say. To that end, today we’re equipping you with ten money-related conversation starters for your dinner table. Give it a go. Who knows — talk of turning $100 into $1,000,000 could even make those smartphones disappear.

1.     “How would you describe money and why we need it?” This question can help children understand the value of money — and help you identify any holes in their assumptions.

2.     “What are some things you want to buy with your allowance or savings?” This can help kids think about how to prioritize their spending and saving.

3.     “What are some ways you could earn money this year?” This can prompt children to start thinking about their income beyond allowance or gifts.

4.     “What are some things you can do to save money?” This question can encourage children to start thinking about ways to save money and be more mindful about their spending habits.

5.     “What is the difference between wants and needs?” This prompt can help kids learn about the importance of distinguishing between essential items and non-essential items when it comes to spending money.

6.     “How do you feel when you get something for free?” Asking this can promote understanding of the concept of value and the idea that things have a cost, even if they didn’t have to pay for it.

7.     “What are some ways you can give back with your money?” This question can encourage everyone to think about the importance of giving back and helping others with their money.

8.     “What is the difference between a credit card and a debit card?” This clarifying question can help children start learning about different financial tools and the importance of being responsible with credit. You may be surprised at the lack of understanding of this make-or-break difference.

9.     “What are some financial goals you have for the future?” This future-focused prompt can encourage kids to start thinking about their long-term financial goals and aspirations.

10. “What are some things you can do to be financially responsible?” This question can help children start thinking about the importance of being responsible with money and developing good financial habits.