At school children are taught the importance of numbers, which coins are worth what and how to add, subtract, divide and multiply. But what kids aren’t taught, is the value of money. That tricky subject is left down to us. So how to we go about teaching our children the importance of saving, making good choices and how to effectively manage their money. Whether it’s a few coins from their pocket money or a substantial amount for a birthday or Christmas gifts.
Here you’ll find some tips and advice on how to give your children a kickstart when it comes to money and how they view it.
The struggle of debt
Our screens are often filled with bright, cheery ads depicting a payday loan saving the day, or how a credit card can make all your dreams come true. But what it doesn’t show – except for the miniscule writing at the bottom of the page – is the potential devastation and ongoing stress that falling behind on payments and the downward spiral debt can cause. There’s no need to scare your kid at this stage but making them aware of where poor choices can lead is a sensible lesson. Even if this gets them to read the small print thoroughly when they’re older, it might help them make better choices. It’s also worth mentioning how companies such as Credit Fix are there to assist, should any debts become too overwhelming.
Forget Mr Piggy Bank
A piggy bank is a great idea to get kids to save. Most of us had one growing up, and we rarely filled it to the top before we emptied it. But therein lies the issue. Having a piggy bank doesn’t create much of a visual. So, consider providing a clear jar for your little one to put their savings into instead. This allows them to see how much they’re got building and they’ll be more inclined to keep going until they reach the top.
Avoid pocket money
We’re not saying don’t treat your little ones. But giving them money just because they exist doesn’t set the best representation of life. Instead, consider giving them commissions instead. Giving them little chores to complete that are appropriate to their age range should do it. Whether it’s putting their dirty clothes in the laundry basket, helping you load the washing machine, ticking off items on the grocery list as you go shopping etc. You can still give them a generous amount but making them understand that if you work hard you’ll be rewarded is a lesson worth teaching.
So, they’ve chosen the toy they want with their birthday money. It’s pretty expensive, but they have enough to get it. Instead of just heading to a local toy shop to pick it up, introduce them to searching for the lower price. Whether that’s online or looking in different shops on the high street, make sure they know that they have the option to shop around as much as you do. They’ll be pretty chuffed with the money they have left over too!