Are your children financially savvy? When you give them money, do they know how to manage it and understand its value? Whether your kids are four or eighteen, having an age-appropriate and practical understanding of money can help put them on the path to financial success in their adult years.
But in a cashless society dominated by credit cards, internet banking and payWave, children don’t often see physical money in action. So, in a world of invisible money, how do you help children understand its real value? We’ve put together some simple suggestions to help your children make dollars and cents of their money.
Children typically start to learn about money in the first few years of school but there is no reason why you shouldn’t spark a conversation about money with your kids at any age. Remember to keep it age-appropriate and integrate practical opportunities to learn. Some key areas you can cover at home, include:
- The difference between notes and coins, and their individual value;
- The concept of buying things and paying for it;
- The difference between need and want; and
- How money is earned.
Children at primary school
- The concept of saving;
- The importance of security when making online purchases; and
- The value of shopping around for the best price.
Children at high school
- Cash versus credit;
- The concept of credit and the interest that goes with it;
- The importance of having a safety net or emergency fund;
- Best practices when you have a job: Tax requirements, checking your pay slip, superannuation and more; and
- Managing a budget.
Get practical with pocket money
If your children haven’t jumped into the world of employment, pocket money can provide a practical and early lesson for managing money. Whether you opt for a system based on completing chores or not, it is important to be clear on your expectations when you hand the funds over. From what it should be used for to how often they will receive it, be clear and up front about any underlying conditions.
When venturing into today’s world of pocket money, you have two options. These include:
There is nothing wrong with providing traditional notes and coins to your children for pocket money. In fact, it can serve as a practical lesson on how to pay for things and help them to understand its value in various forms.
To encourage saving, you can implement a system where children use piggy banks or jars to separate their funds. One for spending, another for saving and a third for giving.
One pitfall when using just cash is that your children will be limited with the types of purchases they can make and as they get older, this isn’t always a practical option for things like tuckshop, transport and other online driven purchases.
The humble debit card has been growing in the popularity stakes since the 1980s and today, there are a number of options for your children to choose from.
For younger children or kids who don’t have any other income, new concepts such as Spriggy can be worth considering. The online, pocket money manager is driven by an app and parents have full control of adding money to the card and monitoring spending. There is a feature to set savings goals and parents can opt to lock the card at any time.
For older children who have their own income or who are more independent, a traditional bank card can be a sensible choice.
Seek advice early
If you don’t consider yourself to be financially savvy or if you have some bad money-habits, then as your children grow into teenagers it can be difficult to lead by example and to give good financial advice. It can also be hard to navigate the world of employment and the superannuation and tax requirements that come with it.
Encouraging your children to seek advice early can be the best investment they ever make. Learning from an expert such as a Financial Planner to create and follow a budget, to save, set goals and build a safety net of funds, can help your children foster healthy money-habits as they enter adulthood. It can also put them on the best foot to manage large expenses such as university, purchasing a car and saving for a house deposit.
Need some help? Call our experienced team on (07) 4632 1966 or fill out our online form to book your free, financial planning consultation.