Don’t wait for your children to become teenagers before you start teaching them about good personal finance habits; these life lessons can be taught at a much younger age.
Children as young as three can be taught about the basics of spending and saving. Young children can also be introduced early on to the subject of saving for something worthwhile, an excellent concept that will remain with them as they get older.
To teach young children about the importance of saving, it’s a good idea for children to have a goal in mind when it comes to something they really want, so perhaps set up a jar or a piggy bank and use this to fill with coins that can be earned when your child behaves particularly well. The money can then be saved towards a toy that they really want, although it’s best to ensure that the item isn’t too expensive otherwise the child will probably lose interest. Likewise, parents can establish jars for other reasons, such as money to be spent on treats such as ice cream or special activities. Periodically counting out the money already saved is a fun way to keep their interest as to how much is already in the pot.
Children can also be taught from an early age how money is used to buy things and the value of the things they want. It’s a good idea to allow older children to have a small amount of money with which they can pay for purchases such as items for their lunch box at the grocery store. Monetary responsibility can increase as your child grows.
Pre-teens can start to earn pocket money for extras that they want. There are some excellent young savings plans on island for young teenagers to open up, as it shows them to appreciate what it means to have a bank account. Such accounts come with debit cards so they can master the art of using ATMs as well. Teenagers should also be taught the value of compound interest, so they can learn the value of starting investing early in a pension plan. They should also be aware of the risks involved with online shopping; including the dangers of credit card fraud and rules should be in place so that they can only make purchases with parental consent. Parents play a vital role in educating their children about the value of good personal finance. Talk regularly to your children about the value of items purchased, how important it is to save for a rainy day and how planning for the future as early as possible is always a wise move. At the end of the day, parents need to lead by example, so do your best to ensure that your personal finances are in good order and hopefully your children will follow your example.