In a world where debt is increasingly becoming “the norm”, it’s important to think about how our children will deal with finances as they grow up. In our house, Little Man hasn’t a clue what money is yet, but his older brother and sister are already learning how to handle their money. I’ve put together this list of top tips for nurturing money-savvy kids.
Talk to them
I grew up in a house where it was rude to talk about money & how much things cost. Whilst I kind of understand the reasons behind this, I think it’s important for children to have an awareness of how much things cost. In my opinion, this helps them to understand the value of money.
Let them handle money
I very rarely use cash to pay for anything these days. From a child’s perspective, I suppose this can be misleading. They see Mummy paying for everything with a magical card, not realising that money is actually spent when that card is used. It’s important to get children familiar with cash as well as cards. From an early age, children can handle coins & notes and begin to learn the value of them and how to tell them apart. Make it fun, play money games & enjoy!
- Play “shops”. With your child, label up some toys, fruit, shoes, whatever you like with price labels. Grab some coins and let your child play with you. They’ll need to figure out which items they can afford, work out what change they’ll need and how much they’ll have left.
- Build a tall tower with 100 pennies to make a big £1 tower, then build a £1 tower with 5p, 10p, 20p & 50p pieces to show the different amounts of coins needed to make the same value.
- Use cash when you’re shopping, let your child pay and work out how much change they need!
Talk about where money comes from
Both myself and my husband work long hours in our jobs as well as the extras I do online. We often explain to the children that without work we wouldn’t have any money.
Give them responsibility
We’ve always given the children complete control over what they spend any money on that’s given to them. Our eldest son has always been a saver and I think he has a great understanding of the value of money. He always prefers to put his money straight into the bank until there’s something he really wants. Little Miss, on the other hand is a spender. She is improving but until very recently she would spend every penny she had the minute it entered her hands! She’s slowly realising that it’s nice to have some money stashed away and she now has over £100 in the bank, which for an 8 year old is pretty impressive! Big Man was able to buy himself a brand new xbox earlier this year because he’d saved all his money up, when his playstation finally gave up, off he trotted with his money in his hand, he was super proud of himself!
Our eldest two have a child’s banking account that they regularly add their money to. We’re with Nationwide and their accounts are linked to mine on the banking app. When they get given cash, they’ll either pass it to me and then ask me to transfer the money from my account to theirs (they love to see the balance go up), or we’ll go into the branch and pay it in at the counter. When they’re 11, they can get a child’s debit card which I think is a great way for them to begin to learn how debit cards work and how they’ll need to keep track of what they’re spending. There are loads of kids bank accounts available, you’ll need to shop around to figure out which one’s best for you.
Do you have any handy tips for raising money-savvy children? I’d love to hear them if you do! Let me know in the comments below.