Kids and cash: teaching little ones about money
It’s natural to want to wrap our kids up in cotton wool, to give them everything that they’ve ever desired and ensure they want for nothing. However, the problem with this is that they can become spoiled. With everything handed to you on a plate, you never get to learn about the value of it and so teaching kids about money is really important. Planting the seed for motivation and wanting to work to earn the things they want will be really useful throughout their lives. Here are some ideas for going about it.
Start with teaching the value of coins
A lot of parents are looking for ways to teach their kids about money. One way is to introduce them to the concept of saving, giving, earning and spending money.
The first step is to help them learn the value of different denominations. This can be done by counting out coins or using a chart with pictures of coins that show the value of each coin. It's important not to hand over any cash until they know what each coin is worth. Kids will often spend more time counting out your change if they understand what they're doing.
Make it fun with online games
We like to get our kids involved with interactive games that help them learn about money whilst also having a bit of fun. MortgageCalculator.org has a number of fun games that are perfect for teaching kids the value of money. Kids can select from different games, including our favourite Treze Coins, where children can add together coins to deposit them into a gumball machine.
The Grocery Cashier game is also good fun for the kids. They can practice addition and subtraction along with monetary familiarity by operating a virtual cash register.
Unlike when we were at school, our own children have been pratcising budgeting with online games at school too. You can always talk to your children's school or teacher to see if they have any recommendations for online games relating to money and budgeting to set them up well for a healthy financial future.
Let them earn their own money
The problem with children and money is that they simply don’t understand the value of it. They ask for cash, new toys, technology and more as if it can simply be pulled out of thin air. As a parent, you’ve probably said more than once ‘money doesn’t grow on trees!”
But to help with this concept, you need to allow them to understand that money is earned. Instead of giving them pocket money, assign age- appropriate chores and have them complete them to earn it instead. You’ll probably find they spend much more carefully! When they’re asking you for money you can explain that yours is earned just like theirs is which should give them more understanding.
As your child grows into a teen, encourage them to get a part time job. It can help them to gain independence and see what life will be like in the working world. This involves having to turn up on time, listen to instruction and sometimes do jobs that you don’t really want to do.
Teach them things they won’t learn about in school
We’re lucky enough to live in a part of the world that’s excellent when it comes to the schooling system. Our children leave school being able to read and write, solve complicated maths equations, they learn about science, history, religion and so much more.
However, there’s still a lot that most people leave school not knowing, and finances tend to be one of them.
Teach your kids the things that school hasn’t- from budgeting to taxes to making a will to how credit cards work. You could educate them on what a credit score is, what influences it and why it’s important. These are things that schools often don’t teach.
Put them in control
It’s one thing teaching kids about money but it’s another letting them try it for themselves. Give them control, one way to do this is to let them control the spending money on a day out. Will they stretch it out all day, or blow it in the first place? Either way, it can be an important learning curve for them and a way to practice with money in a real life setting.
Encourage them to save some of their pocket money and have a savings goal for something they really want. Show them how to break down the amount into smaller goals and work out how long it will take them to save. These are all skills that will come useful later in life.
Kids will make their own money decisions soon enough. It is important that they know how to manage their money, and what to do when they make mistakes. Teaching kids the value of money and how to manage it properly is so important. They should be taught the basics of money such as earning, spending, saving and investing. They should also be taught how to manage their money responsibly. The earlier they learn about it, the better.
We love the Hyperjar pocket money card for our kids!
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