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Don't Wing It. Make a Plan.

As parents, we all know plans are important; but they're never as easy to follow as they are to create. The best plans are the ones that follow the rhythm of our everyday life. That's why we love using common activities as opportunities to talk to our kids about money. Here are a few opportunities to turn daily activities into smart spending and savings lessons:

Grocery shopping is a great way to talk about price differences, savings opportunities, and needs versus wants. Set a budget and have them help you stick to it. If they go under budget, let them keep some of the change for their savings.

Turn bill paying into a game; each month see if your kids can remember what effects the bill's balance, and then talk about why it may have gone up or down from the month before.

Leisure time? Set restrictions: they get one hour on the computer or tablet; if they want more then they have to earn it with a chore.

Driving the kids around? Play the "would you rather" game: would you rather give up food for a day or your cell phone? Would you rather give up the iPad or television for a week? Running water or electricity? You can get more inventive with the questions depending on their age. This can lead to conversations about how kids all over the world often don't have the luxury of choosing.