Twenty years ago, paycheques often came in cash and envelopes were used far and wide to separate what was required for the week – groceries, petrol, rent and so on.
Being witness to this as a kid meant an early understanding of currency was learned. We knew that money had to be earned before it could be exchanged and that to ensure there was enough until we earned more, a solid budget would assist to keep us on track.
Today’s fast paced, electronic world means that it’s near impossible not to rely on things that make our busy lives easier (credit, online banking, ATM’s, quick money deposits – to name a few). It is important though to remember that there is one generation that these things aren’t helping just yet; our young.
Being aware that we still have plenty of opportunities to teach our children the value of money is hugely important, and as with everything else – we believe there are different stages for different ages.
Youngsters (3-4 years | Preschool Aged)
Money Looks Like
Teach your kids the values of our coins and notes. Have them order both forms of money in size – based on the financial value, not their physical size to make it a little more fun.
Midsters (6+ years | School Aged)
School provides a great time to start an allowance – we suggest the allowance covering savings, spending and every day needs as well – lunch money, bus money, school supplies etc. This will teach your child what they have, what they still need and how to prioritise.
Setting up at least 2 savings jars with your child – one jar for standard savings and one for a want (a toy from the store). Teaching them how much they receive, how much they want to save for each item and how long it will take to reach the end goal is key here – include a chart to mark percentage of savings to give them the sense of short-term goals.
Almost-adults (13+ | Teenagers)
Have your child count the money in their savings jar to take to the bank as their first deposit in their very own bank account. Leave them to deal with the teller as much as possible and have them explain how interest works so that they understand, if they don’t touch their savings, they will actually earn more money on top.
Household finance inclusion
No – we do not mean that your child should bear weight of the financial needs of the family. We do however suggest that you keep them included in utility bills, mortgage/rental payments, grocery costs etc and how you budget this out with what funds are available to help them understand and prepare for the financial requirements that will one day, be of responsibility to themselves.
Understanding that delayed gratification is a very, very good feeling, credit doesn’t equal money to spend, finance isn’t a taboo topic in their family household and having had their parents lead by example are all invaluable life lessons you have the chance to teach your child.
These points are just the tip of the ice burg, get creative and you’ll be surprised what you can use to teach your children a healthy relationship with money.