Help your little ones to build good money sense and be sensible with cash.
We all know that one of the most important influences on children’s behaviour is their parents. Children watch their parents, learn from them, and copy their behaviours. So as a parent, it’s important to be a positive role model where money is concerned. Other than the fact it doesn’t grow on trees, here’s a few important things parents should teach their kids about money.
Teach them how to earn it
Kids need to have a little of their own money if they’re going to be truly able to understand how to use it sensibly. So give them some pocket money each week, but have them earn it – don’t just hand it over!
- This way you’re helping kids understand the link between work and income.
- Give kids a little list of tasks they’re expected to do each day, such as:
- putting their dirty clothes into the wash
- helping sort and put clean laundry away
- setting and clearing the table
- bringing in the mail
- walking the dog
- putting the bins out
Explain that they’ll lose some (or all!) of their weekly pocket money if they don’t hold up their end of the deal and do their jobs.
Teach them how to save it
- From a very young age, explain to kids the importance of saving a little bit of your money each week – even if it’s only the tiniest amount.
- Use a piggy bank so children can touch and count the coins.
- Explain how adding a little each week makes their savings grow.
- Talk about the sort of things they might like to save up for.
Teach them how to bank it
Here’s where the value of them earning their own pocket money can be realised.
- Set up a bank account for your kids and as their piggy bank fills up, make the trip to the bank an exciting event.
- Show your kids how they can progressively bank their money and watch their balance grow across the year.
Teach them how to spend it (sensibly!)
- Explain what you are doing as you purchase items.
- Involve the kids in writing the weekly grocery shopping list and have them help you do your weekly shop.
- Teach them how to read price tickets, and hoe to identify which product is the best value for money. Involve them in deciding which brand or package size to buy.
- If you have a budget and you’re happy to involve them, show the kids how you keep track of the money coming in, and how you pay your bills.
Teach them that making money takes patience!
- Make sure children understand that their pocket money is for their purchases when they want a special new treat or toy.
- This way, if they have their eye on a more expensive item they will need to learn the patience and discipline of waiting as they save up for it.
Sure, you don’t want your kids stressing and worrying about money. But it is important for them to be aware of the cost of things, and the difference between needs and wants. Kids need to understand that the rent and bills have to be paid before there’s any chance of a shopping trip for toys and treats.