When the lines between needs and wants are blurred, curbing our spending becomes a nearly impossible task. A great way to teach children to save is by showing them how to identify needs vs. wants. Learning this skill can help children curb their spending habits early on.  Keep reading for conversation starters to get you on your way.

Pointers to cover:

  • How to tell the difference between a need and a want.
  • How to prioritize between needs and wants.
  • When a want can turn into a need.
  • How to pay for wants that aren’t built into a monthly budget.

Conversation starters 

For kids under age 9:

  • What are some things you need in order to survive?
  • Can you list some things you wish you could have?
  • Is it more important to pay for the things we need or for the things we want?
  • How can we pay for some wants?

For kids over age 9:

  • Can you list all of your wants and needs?
  • When can a want become a need? Does it ever happen the other way?
  • Why is it important to allow ourselves to have some of our wants?
  • Do our needs change throughout our lives?
  • Do wants ever fade away?
  • Can you think of a plan that can help you buy something on your “want” list?

Your Turn: Are your kids experts at pinpointing their needs and wants? Share your conversation highlights with us in the comments!