Top 10 money lessons to teach your children.
Money doesn’t grow on trees.
Many teenagers leave school without more than a basic understanding of money.
They might know how to spend their allowance and to only buy what they afford, but what about credit scores? Mortgages? Rental deposits? The benefits of buying a house? Giving your child an education in money from an early age will put them in good stead to enter the adult world when the time comes.
Pocket money rewards.
Money doesn’t grow on trees. Teach your children that money can be finite by giving them a set allowance every week. It will also teach them lessons about moderation; they can no longer have every toy bought for them.
How to set a budget.
As your child gets older, stretch their weekly allowance to monthly. This forces them to make a larger pot of money last for a much longer time. They might spend their first bigger allowance all at once, but they will soon learn their lesson when they have no pocket money left for the rest of the month.
Want or need?
Do they want that new gaming headset, or do they actually need it? A strict monthly allowance will make them think twice, and encourage them to save for bigger purchases.
Quality or quantity?
Show them that a good quality product can last for years, but a cheaper version could be broken within a few weeks or months. Encourage them to weigh up the pros and cons of purchases before they make them. How many times will they use it or enjoy it? Is it worth the cost?
Show them how much real life costs.
Share the cost of your grocery shop, the expense of replacing the washing machine, and an average electricity bill. Compare these costs to their allowance to give some perspective. An added benefit is that it might make them think twice about leaving all the lights on.
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Encourage them to get a part-time job.
A part-time job will teach them much more than money management. They will learn customer service, time management, and communication skills. Patience, empathy, and efficiency. Equating time spent and work done with an hourly wage is so helpful to let them understand the value of money. They could try a paper round when they turn 13, or work in a shop from their 16th birthday.
Set a good example.
Model the type of behaviour you would like your children to show when they set off on their own in the world. Spend money on necessities, show that you weigh up the costs of things, and give your family the occasional well-earned treat to demonstrate that everything is about moderation.
Don’t cave in if they want something that is more expensive than their usual allowance. Show them that saving some or all of their allowance each month will allow them to get it in a few months. Sit down together to work out how much they need to save and when they will be able to get the thing they’re saving up for. If it’s still too big, waiting until their next birthday or Christmas will be a lesson in patience.
Prepare them for university finances.
When university or moving out starts to beckon, start to teach them about the things they will need to know in the real world. From dealing with landlords and deposits to building a credit score and how mortgages work, it’s good to give them an overview now so it doesn’t feel as scary when they face it themselves.
An introduction to investment.
Investment doesn’t have to be complicated. Watch Dragon’s Den together and talk about why the Dragons are investing and what they hope will happen. You could look through a stocks investment app and offer to put £10 into a company they like – maybe Disney, ASOS or Spotify – and together check to see if the price has gone up or down every so often.
Teaching children about money doesn’t have to be boring or difficult. Picking a few of these lessons each year will help any child step out into the world with a good basic understanding of how money works and how to get the most out of it.
Let’s make a difference.
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