As a parent, you recognise that money will play a fundamental role in your kids’ life. Having proper personal financial skills will enable them to navigate through life as financially successful individuals – something everyone wants for their child.
Raising money-savvy kids creates a generation that will be attentive savers, spenders, investors, and givers. Kicking bad debt to the curb and uplifting society as a whole. Teaching your kids to be smart when it comes to their finances can start from an early age. Plus, if you keep it fun and practical they will quickly become experts in the field of personal finance.
Here are some of the important financial lessons you can teach your children to become money-savvy kids.
Money savvy pre-schoolers
You can already start teaching your kids about money from the age of 3. This is a great time to inspire them with healthy financial skills because during this period their parents are their heroes.
Money skills you should focus on during this period are patience and savings. Think about it, saving money can only happen by practicing patience. The biggest lesson you can teach them is the importance of waiting and being patient instead of instant gratification. Remember to keep your child’s allowance limited. Having a huge allowance will miss the point because they will not learn to save and instead spend mindlessly.
Get three money jars. One for saving, one for spending and one for sharing. Every time your kid receives money (allowance or birthday money) divide the money equally among the jars. The spending jar will be for small purchases like candy. The savings jar will be for more expensive items like toys. The sharing jar will go to a charity of your child’s choice.
Money skills you can introduce during this period are living expenses, growing your savings account and how to get extra cash through work. This is also a great time to engage with them when you go shopping. Talking to them about what you are buying, and why, teaches them to stick with the money you have available (according to your budget) and how to pick the best-priced item.
Have your child set a savings goal. Like a toy or game. Explain to them that they can reach their goal faster if they spend less on certain expenses (like candy). Or take on extra odd jobs around the house or neighbourhood for additional income.
Money skills you can introduce during this period are budgeting, how to use credit responsibly and how to invest. Explain to them the difference between “needs” and “wants” and how to do price checks on items they would like to purchase.
Help them set up a personal budget for an upcoming family vacation. In this budget they can: Track their savings working up to the vacation. Prioritise what they want to spend money on during the vacation, and track their spending while on vacation. Plus, if they don’t have enough money for something big they want to do during the vacation (like taking surfing lessons) you can lend them some of the cash. When lending the cash explain to them the interest they will be paying back to you on top of the money they loaned.
This is the period where your hard work and persistence comes full circle. Here you can give them the space to manage their own budget. While keeping an eye on it of course. A skill you can introduce to them here is how to check, build and manage their credit profile.
When looking at student loans make sure they are part of the process. Let them actively help you find the loan with the best interest rate and lowest admin fees. Very important; explain to them that paying back this student loan must be a top priority. Once they have received their first paycheck as a young working adult they must put together a plan to pay back the loan as quickly as they can. You don’t want to be paying back student loans decades later.
Raising money-savvy kids will protect them against bad debt and set them up for financial independence. Stay persistent with teaching these skills, reaffirm the lessons in practice and keep talking to them about managing money responsibly.