"We live in an instant gratification society," says Mark Foster the education director for Credit Counseling of Arkansas. "We want it now, we get it now. Use the plastic."
Foster says kids pick up on that.
"All parents teach their kids about money, whether they say anything or not," he says. "Kids learn from what we model and behavior that we exhibit."
He says its important to impart smart spending habits at an early age, starting with a family piggy bank.
"Cash it in every so often," he says. "Take a trip to Eureka Springs or other fun things just from the change or spare one dollar bills that we have... It teaches you patience and saving towards your goal."
He says an allowance, or paying kids to complete chores provides a real-world learning opportunity.
"The kids have to have something something that they can save and spend and it's ok if they occasionally make some mistakes," Foster says. "It's better they make a five dollar mistake now than a fifty or five hundred dollar mistake years down the road."
Foster says its a good idea to bring your children along with you to comparison shop and if they find something they just have to have, but it's more than you want to spend, offer to let them pay the difference."
"It teaches kids to work towards something that they want, and it teaches them pride of ownership," he says. "It's a win win for the parent and the child."