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Kids & Money: Teaching Your Children The Basics

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Money and kids usually don’t add up to a good combination – but that’s why teaching kids the ABCs of money at a young age is important. So when do you start the conversation?

Financial expert Trae Bodge of RetailMeNot.com joined The Couch to give us some pointers.

More: How To Raise Successful Kids

Looking at the big picture, when do kids become aware of money, and is that when you should start teaching them the basics?

Yes – sort of, said Bodge.

“They start mimicking us around 2 or 3 years old,” said Bodge. “We can [start] setting a really good example by not shopping excessively.”

Around ages 3 and 4, you can begin to turn the money talk into a game. Lay coins down for your children, talk about the value of the coins, talk about the value of dollar bills, as well. Websites like Sesame Street have interactive tools to teach kids about money, as well.

Use trips to the grocery store to teach your children about price comparison and show them about transactions. Teach them that couponing is cool.

By the time your  kids become pre-teens, things can get tricky.

“Coming up into the holidays is a great teachale moment for your preteen,” Bodge said. “They’re going to be asking for a lot of expensive things. Sit with them online and look at prices, and talk about wants versus needs.”

For more tips and to find out when your child is old enough to have their own debit card, check out the full interview below.