AD Road safety? Check. Stranger danger? Check. Healthy eating? Check. Why we brush our teeth? Check. The importance of good spending habits which you can apply later in life? Erm…. maybe not. It’s not an easy subject to tackle with younger children… in fact, most adults find the prospect of money management relentlessly dull. And not all of us have been lucky enough to have money or investments put aside for us by our parents or family members – click here to find out more about investments and the latest trends – so life itself tends to be a bit of learning curve when it comes to our finances.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with some super simple ways you can teach your children about the importance of good spending habits, without boring them (and yourself) in the process!
Give them commissions
If you were lucky, you probably got pocket money or an allowance as a child. But studies show that if you want to pass on a better understanding of money and finances to your children, you shouldn’t gift them cash for no reason. Instead, consider giving them commissions for work they do around the house. Make a list of age appropriate chores and when they’ve been completed, you can give them a certain amount for it. This teaches them the lesson that money has to be earned – and they’ll probably appreciate it a little more.
Help them decide what to spend (and what to save)
It’s a known fact that when little ones have money to spend – they want to do just that. Spend it! Having cash burning a hole in their pocket is understandable, but they’re more likely to blow it all on one toy that they won’t get their moneys worth from. So, give them two clear jars and label one “saving” and the other “spending”. When they see something they want that’s a little out of their price range, they can choose to either put their money into the “spending” jar or add it to the “saving” jar until they have enough to get what they want. You’ll find that over time they’ll be more and more excited to add to their savings collection!
Be the best example you can be
Don’t think the kids are watching you? Wrong! Children pick up their habits from their parents, so when you’re out shopping and you’re throwing in a few extra things here and there, not paying attention to the total and slapping your card on the contactless machine, they’re going to pick up on it. Make sure they know that you’re sticking to a budget when you’re in the supermarket – that way the money you save can go towards something fun, or other important things.
Don’t be afraid to say no
If you have a habit of saying “yes” every time your child wants a burger or ice cream, or a magazine when you’re in the shop then try saying “no” once in a while. Letting them know gently that we have to be careful with your money and save it for other things is a quick lesson that they’ll remember.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.