Right now, I’d say the majority of parents are spending a lot more time with their kids than usual. Are you enjoying the extra time you’re able to spend with them, or wishing for school to be back in action ASAP?
I don’t have kids myself, so I’m not going to tell you how you should be feeling about it. However, I have been thinking about the things you could be teaching them while you (and they) have more time together at home.
We all work hard to earn a living and provide the best possible lifestyle for our family. Time and hard work taught us the importance of money.
Given the importance of having good financial skills in life, why aren’t we start teaching our kids how to be money smart when we teach them how to learn the Alphabet or to count to 20? I’ve always wondered why the school system doesn’t teach children more about money management. That’s a topic for another day!
Encourage them to save
When I was in my early 20s, I didn’t have any savings. It’s not because I didn’t earn enough money. Since the age of 18 I’ve worked hard and earned a good income.
I never had enough money because I didn’t know how to save. This is a hard lesson for a person to have to learn at any age. My dad always used to say, “Live within your means” but I didn’t really understand the meaning of it for a long time.
That’s why I believe that teaching the importance of saving at a younger age is one of the best ways to help set your child on the road to financial success.
Piggy banks are a great way to start this learning journey for younger children. Once they’re old enough to have a bank account, you can then introduce them to a savings account. This way if they want to buy something you can always encourage them to save for it. If it’s an expensive item, maybe make a deal with them to save up half of it and you will help them by putting in the rest.
Also Read : What to do with your finances during CIVID – 19
Show them that money doesn’t come easily
The whole world is constantly evolving and producing newer, better technology. We very rarely exchange cash anymore.
When kids see you tap and go at the supermarket, they might start to think that money is unlimited. They don’t see the physical act of handing over a coin or a note.
Using cash whenever possible can help kids understand the concept of money. Tell them that you work hard to earn your money. Talk to them about how money works.
Explain to them that the money you get out of the ATM isn’t just free money that appears out of nowhere like a genie from a bottle.
Set a good example for them by spending money carefully. When you take the kids to the shops, they’re going to ask if they can have items that they see there. Explain to them that you are not there to buy what they want and tell them that it’s not a good thing to want everything you see.
Teach them to compare products before buying too. Show them where to find the prices and help them understand how to find the best one for a particular product.
This is a great habit for anyone to practice. How many times have we bought items from the supermarket without realising how expensive they were until we got home?
If we can teach kids to practice this habit from a younger age, it will stick with them forever. Comparing prices with them is the best way to show them the importance of hunting for the best deal.
You can do this by reading the store’s price labels to them. Ask them what they think is the best option and why. Make sure that they take quality into consideration and that they understand bigger is not always better.
For example, one week you might buy home brand products. The next week, try a well-known brand and discuss the difference with them. See if they think it’s worth spending that extra dollar or two for the name.
Now, I know that you may not have time to do this every time you visit the store, but even every couple of times is going to make a difference to their mindset.
Most importantly, I know there is nothing more you want for your kids than their happiness. As long as they learn how to live within their means and have an understanding that life is all about being happy with the people you love, they will do great things.
In order to teach them this, you need to provide that influence. You will have to live your life the same way so they can learn from you.
If you try to keep up with the Joneses your entire life, that is exactly what they will do. Nothing will be enough for them.
Teach them how to be money smart, how to love the little things in life and to work hard and earn an honest living. If you do that, you’ll become part of creating a generation a lot smarter and happier than us.