Teaching Kids About Money At Any Age
If you’re unsure where to start when it comes to teaching kids about money, the good news is that it’s as simple as introducing them via your day to day life.
As a parent, it’s your job to educate your child about the way the world works. We teach our kids how to eat, how to walk, how to speak and even how to use their manners, so why are so many of us hesitant to start teaching kids about money? In most cases, many parents aren’t quite sure where – and when – to start.
In an increasingly digital and “cashless” society, the physical component of how money works has been reduced. While you might have a stash of coins tucked away in your car’s glove box, it’s becoming less and less common to have a medley of notes in your wallet. Instead, we just “tap and go”, buy online, or even default to Afterpay. However, little brains are often visual learners, so it can be difficult to start teaching kids about money if they can’t actually see it.
All the same, it’s important that parents at least try. By starting the conversation early, you’re able to show your children where money comes from, how to earn it, how to budget, how to spend it wisely and how to set savings goals, all of which are vital life skills for their future. Teaching your children these skills is a necessity if you want them to develop a healthy relationship with their finances as an adult – so where do you start?
How To Start Teaching Kids About Money
When you share your home with little people, it takes a while for them to realise that money doesn’t magically appear in your wallet, or that there’s a reason why one or both parents disappear for hours at a time to what they will come to know as a “job”.
However, the reality is, if you don’t make the effort to start teaching kids about money, where it comes from and what it’s for from an early age, it’s inevitable for them to continue thinking that it’s an infinite resource – which is a much harder ideology to tweak as they get older.
Thankfully, it’s not all doom and gloom, and teaching kids about money is as simple as making a conscious decision to start incorporating the conversation into your day-to-day life. As you may have already noticed, small children tend to love playing “shop” at home. Oddly enough, this is one of the simplest ways to start their financial education from as young as two.
As most parents know, it’s at this stage that children start identifying animals and colours, so while you’re at it – start introducing things like coins to let them get familiar with the basics. The imaginary “shop” in the living room is more than just a fun way for your child to get creative – by exchanging play money for goods, your child begins to understand the fundamentals of commerce without it being such a mammoth task.
Ages To Start Teaching Kids About Money
Once your little babe starts asking questions about the big things in life – why is the sky blue, why can’t they drive the car, why do we have to pay for things – this is usually a good time to start adding small bouts of financial know-how into their day to day lives.
Four To Five – By the time your children reach the age where they’re off to kindy, they’ve no doubt started to ask for a present every time you visit a shop – which is when you need to help them realise that these items aren’t exactly free. Are you buying a loaf of bread from the bakery? Actions speak louder than words, so get your child to hand the coins over.
Six To Eight – Your child is starting to understand the concept of “need vs want”. Consider a coin jar, money box or making a trip to the bank to open a children’s account. They’re now of the age when they can debate whether they really want that lolly pop, or if they’re better off saving up to buy that shiny new toy instead. Put the decision in their hands to teach responsibility.
Nine To Twelve – Kids are starting to understand that money is earned. Avoid handing them an allowance, and instead start introducing age appropriate chores for their pocket money as a way to “work” for it. They’re also old enough now to start understanding the concept of budgeting, and you can help them to grasp the age old conundrum of “spend vs save”.
Thirteen To Fifteen – Your child has now entered high school, which usually heralds a whole new wave of social pressures to spend. Encourage them to avoid impulse buys, such as a new dress for a party. Help them to get a part time job, so that they can learn for themselves how holding down a job works, what’s expected of them, and how to earn money on their own.
Sixteen To Eighteen – Adulthood is rapidly approaching, and your child will experience a series of rapid fire life events such as their formal, their first car, Schoolies, and even university fees. Be sure they are prepared for life in the “real” world as much as possible, especially with things like taxes and other financial obligations that they may not have been educated on in school.
Finding Help With Navigating The World Of Finance
As a parent, it can be difficult to start teaching kids about money if you’re not entirely confident with your own financial choices. However, the good news is that it’s never too late to start. Whether your monetary goals look like retiring early or purchasing a home, George Samios and the team at Madd Life are ready and waiting.
With their entire business built on referrals, the team at Madd Loans have taken the mortgage broking industry by storm. Their overwhelmingly positive feedback has helped them to take out numerous industry awards, including the title of “Queensland’s Broker Of The Year” for four consecutive years. After working with a broad variety of clients in regards to their mortgage options, it made sense for the team at Madd to have the capacity to offer a full financial planning service, which is how Madd Life came roaring to life.
If thinking about your financial future strikes a chord with you, then it might be time to speak to a professional. Whether you’re chasing mortgage solutions or a financial fairy godmother, the team at Madd work together as a collective to turn your goals into reality.