There are some things that we just cannot escape in life. One of them is money; we all earn it, we all spend it and we all need to learn how to be responsible with our finances.
Teaching our kids how to deal with money is incredibly important. You want them to have a healthy relationship with finances so that when they are older, it is not something that cripples them entirely.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Use envelopes to separate money
If your child has a list of toys or books that they want, get them to draw the items, one per envelope. When they receive their pocket money, you can help them divide their money into their different envelopes, remembering to keep some for everyday spending.
2. Make a goal chart
Another way to help your children understand setting goal in terms of money is to have a goal chart. Have a nice big picture of what your child wants to save for and then work out how many weeks they will need to save for. Divide a piece of card into that many blocks and each time that they put that money away, they get a sticker. This is a great way for them to physically see how close they are getting to their goal and is a huge motivator.
3. Be the best example:
Our children learn the most by watching what we do. Make sure that they see you putting money into a savings jar often so that they follow your lead. Talk to them about money and how to save regularly so that it doesn’t become a taboo subject in your home.
4. Start with a piggy bank and progress
Buy your child a piggy bank or make a savings jar. Help your child deposit money into their savings whenever they can (don’t forget to mark it off on the goal chart!). Once the piggy bank is full, or if you sense that your child is getting bored with it, take them to the bank and help them open a savings account. Explain to them how their money will be kept safe and how, if they want to spend some of their money, they can.
5. Show that money is earned
Teach your children from a young age that money does not come for free. Sit down and discuss a few ways that they can earn their pocket money. Perhaps some can come from household chores while another source could be achieving certain marks at school.
6. Play games that deal with money
A really good one is a monopoly. It’s a brilliant way of teaching kids to think of the future as well as touching on investment and saving.
7. Use an app
Most kids have a smartphone or a tablet these days; use it to your advantage. Download a few games that have a money or savings theme if you still have little ones. If you have older children that grasp the concept of saving and finances, help them find an app that can track their spending and saving. Getting them into good habits while they are young is key.