It is a known fact that children imitate their elders in most things, both good and bad. So, it is our duty as parents and role models we can teach our children the important lesson of how to manage money as well as how to value it. Here are a few things that you can do to get started with teaching your children, no matter what age, about how to be responsible with money:
Be an early beginner
Research shows that kids even as young as 3 years old can understand the concepts of savings and spending. So, it’s a good idea to start early when teaching your children the basics of money management.
Encourage your kids on their path to money managing, by playing games such as imaginary play store, where your kids learn play the shopkeeper and you the buyer; they get to use their imagination and exchange pretend money for the things or food item they sell. All you need is your living room, everyday household items such as a pack of biscuits, tissue boxes, fruits or even cereal boxes in which your kids can “sell”. For younger children, even a coin identification game is a good start. Trace the outline of various coins and colour them in; teach your kids to identify the coin and its name by the shape they see – its all good learning
Take them to the bank
When you visit the bank or ATM, don’t leave your kids at home, take them with you. Let them see what a bank looks like and how it functions; same goes for the ATM. In fact, to get your kids started early on the habit of money saving, open up a junior savings account for them, if you can.
Work out an allowance
If you have schoolgoing kids, why not start them on a weekly allowance. Give them a stipulated amount that they can buy things with; let them learn how to manage money effectively by letting them handle it independently and make choices of their own.
Make them earn a bonus
If your kids run out of the weekly allowance, and ask for a top-up, make them earn it. Have a discussion with them on why they ran out of money, and share with them your own experiences of managing your money. Allocate some simple household chores to them, and pay them for it, so that they can earn their bonus.
Take them shopping
Another great way to teach their kids how to manage money is to take them shopping with you, and give them a small amount which they can use for their own shopping. Let them evaluate the prices of things like fruits or candies and gauge how to best use their money for the things they want.
With these simple rules, you can easily teach your kids how to value money, in a fun and creative way. Remember, you can start as early as when your child is 2-3 years old. The attitude you nurture in them towards money, will last them their lifetime, so make a foundation that’s simple, yet strong.