How to teach your children good money habits

By Tamara Mafilika Time of article published Nov 26, 2021

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The hardest part of saving is due to a lack of knowledge. Many people believe that saving options are only open to the working class and wealthy society. As parents, we want the best for our children. While we may want them to have the latest toys or coolest gadgets, this will not set them up for financial success later in life. We want them to be secure, and for this, we need to lay a foundation that teaches them how to manage their money.

Colin Long, director of the Consolidated Group, says you should start teaching your children financial education early.

Long’s top five habits that will help them become financial superheroes are:

1. Delayed gratification. Successful people are those who can delay gratification. In its simplest form, this can be described as the ability to wait 15 minutes to get two marshmallows instead of one. It’s all about self-control and speaks to the ability to delay the impulse for an immediate reward to receive a better reward in the future. To teach your kids about delayed gratification, use pocket money to help them understand saving money, that the later reward is generally much larger than the immediate one, and that’s why it's worth the wait.

2. The value of money. It’s not always easy to take your children grocery shopping as they sneak things into your trolley when your back is turned. When this happens, put these “extra” items to one side and explain to them that they were not on your shopping list and that you haven’t budgeted for them. Show your kids the receipts with the amount that you have paid. This will teach them the value of money, of planning and delivering on a plan. The important thing is to weave money lessons into everyday life.

3. Create opportunities to earn money. Children need to have money of their own, so they can learn how to make decisions about using it. Instead of giving them pocket money, consider setting them chores, so they earn it. This will teach them that if they want to get paid, they have to complete certain tasks. If they go over and above these tasks – such as offering to wash your car – then they will earn additional money. This will develop creativity and ingenuity and teach them that if they are prepared to do extra work, they can increase their earnings.

4. Instil a habit of saving. It’s important to teach your children from a young age that money isn’t just for spending, it’s for saving too. Saving teaches goal-setting and planning, and it also builds security and independence. Help your children get into the habit of saving by giving them a glass jar for their coins so they can watch this grow. As they get older and advance to real banking, open a savings account for them and let them manage their money using a financial App. This will introduce financial technology at an early age and help them practice good money habits.

5. Use positive language. Talking to your kids about money is a central element for their financial education but resist the urge to talk negatively. Just as you tell your children to be honest, it’s important to talk openly and positively about your money values. This can reduce the negativity that often surrounds finances and teach them that money provides options and opportunities.

Colin concludes by saying that money shouldn’t be a taboo subject that grown-ups never talk about in front of children. Rather, let’s pass on financial wisdom and advice as we can in age-appropriate ways so they can learn these essential skills and have lots of fun on their journey to becoming money savvy.


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