Educating children about money
Tuesday 23rd Aug, 2022
It’s never been more important to give children a good financial education. Learning about money from a young age definitely helps them to make better financial choices when they are older. Helping your children to gain good money habits isn’t difficult; it can also be lots of fun.
- Sit down and show your younger child different coins and notes. Explain what each is worth. Invent basic shopping situations with various goods and prices and ask them to work out which coins they would need to give the shopkeeper to buy various types of sweets.
- Suggest that they to put some of their pocket money into a transparent container so they can see the savings build up each week. They will see the value in not spending the full amount when finally they can use the money saved to buy a toy they have been waiting for.
- Set a savings challenge. Involve your child in saving up for something they are passionate about such as a pair of new football boots. Show them the prices and help them to work out how much, and for how long, they will need to save before they can afford them.
- Encourage them to earn their own money. Instead of buying your children everything they want, tell them you’ll pay a certain amount for doing household chores or tidying their room, which they can save towards their goal. If the item is particularly expensive, perhaps they could save half the amount, while you contribute the rest.
- Set up a safe savings account such as a HEY Credit Union Junior Savers Account* and pay their earnings in each week. Fill in a savings card each time a deposit is made and let them see the balance build up as their goal gets closer.
- Don’t let your child hear you talk about impulse buys, or guilty spending. Instead, talk to them about things you are saving up for, such as monthly payments towards a holiday. When they see you saving regularly, and being enthusiastic about it, they will want to do the same.
- Let your child help you plan the meals for a week. Show them how much you have to spend on a week’s food shopping and take them to the supermarket with you. Set the challenge of staying within the budget, comparing brands for best value and buying the right amount to avoid waste.
- Have open conversations about money. Answer any questions they have about the subject honestly and thoroughly, so that they learn to be comfortable and confident about money from an early age. Don’t criticise them for an occasional mistake, such as overspending, just be there with support and guidance so that they learn from the experience.
These simple tips will give your child a more realistic attitude towards money when they grow up.
*Any adult within our common bond can open Junior Saver Accounts for the special children in their life. It is a great way to teach them about financial responsibility and help them to build a nest-egg ready for the start of adult life. A dividend bonus is added to the account every December. Just call into a branch with a birth certificate, passport or Child Benefit letter and our friendly team will be pleased to help.
This article is for general information only and does not constitute financial, legal, or any other form of advice.
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