Image via Pixabay
No one wants their kids to grow up to have a poor relationship with money, and to fall into financial difficulties. Parents often go to great lengths to protect their kids from any stress, strain or misfortune. Whether reading through an artificial grass guide for an allergy-free lawn, or getting them involved in hobbies that might aid their future career prospects.
Among the lessons which are best taught during childhood, good money habits stand out head and shoulders above much of the rest. Nonetheless, they are often overlooked by parents who don’t like the idea of involving their kids in messy concerns like that at a young age.
Teaching your child the basics of financial management and responsibility doesn’t have to be a sad, cynical undertaking, however. There are simple and easy things you can do starting today that will make all the difference down the line.
Here are a few suggestions.
Give your child pocket money and a piggy bank
Children learn by seeing and doing far more than they hear by being told a thing, it’s why the old ironic adage, “do as I say, not as I do” has stuck around for such a long time.
It follows, then, that the best way to begin teaching your child about financial responsibility is to get them handling money as early as possible. There’s no need to over-complicate things — much less make your child cynical by giving them lectures on high financial concepts.
Simply begin by giving your child a regular allowance of pocket money, and getting a piggy bank for them to store their savings in. You might be surprised by how quickly then begin taking pride in counting and storing up their savings.
Work with your child to create an approved “shopping list”
Having and saving money is all very well, but but the lesson only really begins when a child has something to spend the money on. Of course, you don’t necessarily want to give your child free reign to purchase whatever they feel like with their pocket money.
A great solution is to encourage your child to talk to you about things they’d like to buy. Decide which items you’d approve of and create a “shopping list” with with them. Whenever they have enough for one item, they can approach you and tell you “I’d like to buy this”, and then hand over their pocket money to you so you can complete the purchase.
This teaches your child a couple of valuable money skills. To begin with, it allows them to take pride in making their own autonomous financial decisions. For another thing, it encourages them to save more carefully, and teaches them that impulse spending means less in the “bank” for bigger, longer-term ambitions.
Let your children help you with your shopping
Some children like accompanying their parents to the shops, and others absolutely hate it. One of the ways of not only making the experience more tolerable for both you and your child, but also of teaching your child some valuable life lessons, is to get them involved in the shopping process.
Show them your shopping list and say “let’s go and find this together”. Ask them to work out how much the different items would cost in total. By doing this you encourage numerical fluency at a young age, and you also get your child used to the concept and process of grocery shopping.