Money is a powerful force in our lives. It affects how we spend our time, how we make decisions, and how we live. Yet many people feel uncomfortable talking about money with their children.
Why is it Important to Teach Kids about Money?
Below are some reasons why it is important to teach kids about money:
- Teaching your kids about money will help them avoid financial pitfalls in the future (e.g. debt, bankruptcy).
- Teaching your kids about money will help them make smarter financial decisions (e.g. investing).
- Teaching your kids about money will help them save for the future (e.g. retirement). and make better financial plans.
- Teaching kids about money will help them understand the value of money and stop them becoming too spoilt.
5 Ways to Teach Kids about Money
Children are not born with an understanding of money. They have to learn about it from their parents and teachers. Here are 5 ways that can help you teach kids about money.
1) Acknowledge the power of playtime: Kids love to play with money, so why not give them the opportunity to do so? Playtime is a great way for kids to learn about earning, spending, saving and sharing. You can set up a toy shop and use real or pretend money to exchange for goods. You can also use this time to talk with your child about how they feel when they get paid or spend their allowance.
2) Teach them how to count: Teaching children how to count is important step in teaching them about money as well as setting them up to do well in maths in school! With young children, you can play simple number games using real coins and notes as props, such as racing to spot the different numbers. Older childen can use money to practise their addition and multiplication. There are also lots of online money games you can play for any age.
3) Talk about the emotions behind buying things: Whether it is a toy or something more meaningful, children crave the excitement that comes with getting what they want. When children get excited about something they’ve been longing for, they are more likely to develop a positive approach to saving money in the future. They also need to understand that money is limited and they can’t always have what they want. Help them talk about and process these negative emotions too.
4) Model good money management habits: If you show children how you handle your finances, it will help them understand what it means to have good financial habits. For example, if you’re trying to teach your child about budgeting and savings, share with them what your current household income is and how much you need to spend on bills, food and so on. It will help to use visual aids such as drawing a colourful pie chart, or using real money to divide into piles so they can understand where money goes (it’s not just for toys!)
5) Pay them for chores: children need to understand that money doesn’t grow on trees – mum and dad have to work for it! You can develop this understanding by paying them for age-appropriate jobs around the house, and then taking them shopping so they can understand how much work they had to do to afford that toy they want.
The Best Way To Teach Your Child About Money – It’s All in the Details!
In conclusion, the best way to teach your child about money is to be specific. It is not enough to just tell them “don’t spend it all in one place”. Instead, give them specific examples of what you mean by that and make sure they know that there are consequences for their actions.
Playing practical games and acting out real life situations with money will have a bigger impact on them than just talking about it.
And remember, learning about money is a lifelong task. Introduce your child to personal finance young in an age appropriate way, and keep coming back to the message as they grow.