With a shocking 83% of today’s teenagers not knowing how to properly manage money, this lack of teaching is likely to make them irresponsible adults with money too. And, with up to 40% of 5-year olds thinking plastic cards give us ‘free money out of the wall’, it’s clear the value of money is lost on many young children.
As a parent, you naturally want your kids to grow up to become mature, responsible adults who never have to worry about crippling debt and loans, and the best way to ensure this happens is to have some input yourself. So, here are some top tips on how to effectively teach your kids money smarts at a variety of different ages to ensure they learn as they grow!
For the little ones, it’s important to start with the basics as you don’t want to overwhelm or bore them. Something as simple as taking your child to a store and leaving empty handed is a great way to teach them a valuable lesson: we don’t have to buy something every single time we go shopping, it’s equally okay to leave empty handed too. Introducing your young kids to the concept of an allowance will also be very useful.
This is also the right time to begin teaching your kids about budgeting too. Before heading out set a budget for the outing and make sure your child remembers it. Then, if your child chooses enough items to equal the budget, tell them they have two choices: either pay for anything else they want with their own allowance or accept the budget and be grateful for the new they’ve got.
This is about the right age to begin introducing your kids to the concept of digital money. The vast majority of us use cards instead of cash these days, and it’s important your kids understand what the plastic actually represents.
It’s generally around this age that your kids will start asking for more extravagant purchases, and sometimes it’s good to say no. If they’re frequently requesting items that exceed budget, explain to them that we can’t always buy whatever we want – budgets have to be stuck to.
High school and college are likely to be at the forefront of your teenager’s mind, so introducing the notion of debt and credit is vital. It’s likely they will experience some form of student debt during their lifetime, and you need to show them how important it is to learn about consolidating their student loan. It’s also important for them to start saving as, when they hit college, expenses will be high!
With a shocking number of today’s kids and teens having no idea how to manage money, you don’t want your children to be like them! Simply by implementing a few key money smarts from an early age, you’ll already be setting your kids up to be responsible and sensible toward their finances.
Guest article was provided to The Neat Things in Life by Olivia Bailey. Olivia Bailey enjoys writing personal finance articles. When she’s not tapping away at the keyboard you’ll find her immersed in family life.