Research carried out by Money Advice Service reveals that parents are key when it comes to preparing your children to manage money in the future. Everything they need to learn about saving and managing money they learn from listening and watching their parents. No pressure then! While it is a lot of responsibility, it doesn’t have to be complicated!
So how can you encourage your children to develop health habits around money and how can you instil a sense of responsibility where money is concerned, rather than a sense of entitlement?
Here at TWiCE our team are committed to teaching and nurturing children to be money smart and it is never too early to prepare your children to use money well, to achieve financial success in their lives. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Model good money management but discuss some of the mistakes you made openly
Children learn best from what they consistently see. One of the best things you can teach your children is the value of money and how to live within their means. Making a shopping list and sticking to it is a valuable lesson they need to learn about being single-minded and remaining within their budget. Making good choices can be learnt at any age, but children also learn from our mistakes. It’s also important that they know that it is okay not to be perfect. Vulnerability from you and honesty about how you got out of the debt trap, could save them from epic failures in their future. It also means that if they ever mess up, they will approach you for guidance before it gets out of control.
2. Teach your children the difference between “wants” and “needs”
The chocolate bars at the check-out are every Mum and Dad’s nightmare, kudos to all children for their persistence. However, see it as an opportunity, rather than an inconvenience. Perhaps, ask a few questions like, “do they need it and why?” , “ did they bring their pocket money and do they have it with them?” ….etc. Most of the time, children will have forgotten their pocket money and that’s the end of that, they have to wait until the next time you take a trip to the supermarket. It is a good way to teach them some restraint and the difference between wants and needs. The bar may only be 60 p which may not seem like a lot of money, but when your pocket money is only perhaps £2 or £5 a week, it can be significant. In the future, when they have salaries in the thousands, this could equate to a £600 or £1000 spend. Perspective is everything and they need to learn it now!
Giving your children pocket money or an allowance teaches independence and the value of money. We recently heard that some parents try to encourage their children to set aside from their pocket money, 10% for a charity, 30% to savings, and the remaining 60% they can spend or perhaps save a little more for something big that they really want. The theory is that this not only teaches them to manage their money but teaches them to be generous too, something we are keen to implement in our own households.
4. Look for deals
Not all of us are natural deal hunters, but we can to teach our children to be, to avoid a sense of entitlement! This lays a good foundation for the later years. Here is a little example of how you can teach a 7 to 10 year-old about bundle deals. In the big supermarket, a 41g Crunchie bar is usually £0.60. However, sometimes you can get 4 of the same chocolate bar for just £1.00. This means as opposed to one, your child can buy four bars and eat them over the month (not all in one go, obviously) making a saving of £1.40. This might not seem a lot to save, but in the future, if your child were to apply the same principle, they could turn out to be incredibly money savvy, which is the ultimate goal.
At TWiCE, we are passionate about preparing and training our current and future generations to achieve financial success and this starts by being money smart. To find out more, visit www.twicecampaign.org and for more tips just like these, sign up for our Fortnightly Insights and money stories at https://www.twicecampaign.org/fortnightly-insights
Disclaimer: The above information does not replace financial advice. Please ensure you seek independent financial advice before making any decisions regarding your finances. We also recommend that you carry out your own research to ensure that this is right for your own unique circumstances. Please note that we sometimes link to other websites but we cannot be held responsible for their content