What do we want for our children? Hopefully, we want them to grow up understanding the value of money, what it is used for, how it is earned and saved. If knowledge and good habits have been installed from an early age then hopefully they will understand the importance of working and earning, and avoid the pitfalls of debt. Here are ten actions that parents can take which should enable your children to have a good relationship with money, these action points are from the book “It Doesn’t Grow On Trees”, written for children aged 7 to 13 to read with their parents, and encourages children to adopt good habits concerning personal finance:
1 Pay pocket money from an early age in cash in a regular, disciplined way. Children should have the choice to spend or save it.
2 Encourage and facilitate saving some proportion of the money they receive. Recommend they do not spend too much on any one thing.
3 Increase the amount of pocket money if tasks or chores are carried out. Encourage the idea of working to earn.
4 Don’t be afraid to say “no” to your children. You set the rules and help your children learn the difference between wants and needs. Time spent explaining is always a good investment.
5 Have regular meetings with annual or bi-annual reviews of pocket money amounts or allowances where you also discuss what is expected regarding chores and behavior.
6 As your children grow older encourage them to plan their spending. Introduce the importance of writing down what they spend both to help them control it and so that they are able to plan future spending
7 Insist that they need to earn money if they want to supplement or have more pocket money. Children can benefit from working where the employer is not the parent.
8 Make sure they keep records of where their money is and how much they have. They should know how much is in their savings account or piggy bank. There is still very little taught in schools about money and finance so this is a good first example.
9 Talk about money and play games where the value of money becomes apparent.
10 Have personal and/or family plans and visions that you have identified that you can share with them. It might be for anything from saving for a new bicycle to buying a new house but involve the children in some way.