Financial literacy for children is a hot topic.  Start them young so they learn to ‘spend and save’, is one school of thought.

After more (great) feedback we’re continuing the very important topic of Children/Kids and Money.

The question of what to teach children about money and when to start is something we are asked quite frequently.

We really like Rob Stock’s article, Cents and Financial Sensibility, his 10 point checklist.  While somewhat tongue in cheek, there are certainly worth while gems in it.

Teaching your children financial literacy should go hand in hand with their understanding of basic maths.  There is no point trying to teach the value of $20 or what you can buy with it if the child can only count to 10.

Saving

Give them a piggy bank and pay pocket money in coins.  This way they can clearly how it can be divided up.  A portion goes into the piggy bank and is saved to buy the latest toy or gizmo, perhaps some to donate and the balance they can spend now if they want to.

Let them make mistakes.  If they blow their pocket money in the first couple of days, so be it.  Don’t criticise or discipline them but make sure they understand that there isn’t any more until next week.

Helping your child become financially literate requires quite a lot of discipline on your part as a parent.

Problem is, many parents don’t have a good relationship with money.

They are struggling to manage their own money, let alone trying to teach their children to manage theirs.

For both parents and children, it’s all about going back to basics.  Look at the concepts that were around well before we all had credit cards, EFTPOS, Google/Apple pay and internet banking.

This is a simplistic example: if you spend more than you earn, you end up in debt.  If you spend less than you earn, you have something for a rainy day.

While these are simple concepts, implementing them are not.  There’re not straightforward because we are surrounded by enticements to spend now, pay later – and the instant gratification voice in our head is agreeing!

It doesn’t matter what age we are and what we have been taught about money by our parents, the urge for instant gratification often overrides logic.

The answer is Yes!

It is important to teach children about money.  And it’s also important to teach them how to kick a ball, bake a cake, build a fort, socialise with others and have fun being a kid.  You may be surprised what you learn about your own financial behaviour along the way.

Hope these points help you navigate the decision process around pocket money.

As Rob Stock says,

  • Focus on your own financial literacy.
  • Kids learn from both teaching and the example you set.
  • Be open about money with them.

We would love to hear your own stories about teaching your children about money, so post a comment and share with a friend.

In order for you to help your children learn about money, make sure that you are happy with your own financial strategies.  If you would you like to discover strategies to become financially healthy, drop us an email or click on this link to find a day and time that suits you to have a chat with us – it’s completely free!