Teaching your children how to handle money sets them up for future success. Using a few simple techniques is all that’s needed to get them on track to be successful savers and mindful shoppers.
Use some of these tips to get the money conversation started:
Link pocket money to work
Link pocket money to work but you shouldn’t necessarily link pocket money to completing household chores. Afterall, no one pays the adults in the house for doing them. But linking your child’s pocket money to jobs that need to be completed is a great way to teach them that you don’t just get money for nothing – you need to earn it. Add jobs like washing the car, weeding the garden, mowing the lawn or set up your own fee schedule of jobs your child can choose from. Agree on what must be completed each week and if they don’t do it, they don’t get paid.
Teach them how to save
Teaching your child how to save up for an item or experience teaches them about delaying gratification. Set a goal and then help them get there. You can use a bank account, a piggy bank or a simple jar to save the money in. Show them the money as it’s accumulating and talk about how much more they need to reach their goal. Celebrate when they save enough money for their goal and then create a new one.
Be a mindful shopper
Children usually enjoy spending their money on the first thing they see. Not a lot of thought goes into it, but you can help them think a bit more mindfully about their spending. A great way to do this is to model it yourself. Even though you might want something, take a moment to think about whether or not you really need it. Have a conversation with your child about your purchasing decision making where it is relevant. They don’t need to know about all the household expenses but sharing some of the decision making you do around purchasing special items can really help them understand the process. If buying an item really will bring you long term joy, celebrate its purchase. If it doesn’t really fit in the budget, let your child know you’re going to save for it, just like they do.
Sell unwanted items
Decluttering the house is not only great for your mental health, but it can also raise some extra funds. Get your child involved by selling unwanted toys or games and give them the funds they raise. Help them to consciously spend it on something they really do want or add it to their savings.
Teaching children about money doesn’t need to be complicated but it can help set them up for future success. Learning about working for money, being a mindful shopper and saving up for larger items are all skills even adults need to master.