If you want kids to learn to be smart with money, you must give them some freedom, says Susan Tordella, a parenting coach and the blogger behind "Raising Able." If you give an allowance, "allow them to spend their allowance however they choose," Tordella says. "They can buy school lunch every day and have nothing leftover, or they can buy once a week and save for a family vacation."
Finkle suggests taking your kids on a personal shopping trip with a specific amount of money to spend and no buying guidelines. "They will eke out every cent, they will be more specific on their wants, and they will end up buying more of what they really want than what their impulse buying would be," she says. To make the trip more educational, make your kids do their own math. "If they come to you in the store and want to buy three things, hand them a paper and pencil and have them add the prices together. Give them a big bill and ask them how much change they should expect -- based on the total amount of the items subtracted from the amount of money they have. These are simple, practical and meaningful money lessons."