How to teach kids about money

Most of the stress that I see in my clients is either directly related to or exacerbated by financial pressures. So how can we teach our children about money at an early age so that they can grow up financially savvy and devoid of these unnecessary challenges?

A lovely way to begin is by encouraging your children to save for something that is on their wishlist. This helps them to learn about saving, about the value of things that they desire, about taking action towards their goals, and about creativity all in one go.

Now the first obvious step towards saving, as an adult, is of course earning. So why is it that we let our children skip this step?

How many of you simply hand out a weekly allowance with no expectation from your children? This creates a sense of entitlement and does not create respect for either money or possessions.

The other common mistake that parents make in terms of pocket money is to pay children for chores done around the home. Again, this is not ideal, as it teaches children that they should only help if they are getting some reward. This robs them of a sense of community, where everyone in the family is expected to contribute to the running of a household.

Allowing children to EARN their own money teaches responsibility, value, self-worth and creativity. Aren’t these attributes that you’d like your kids to learn? It’s easier than you think.

Even the littlest of children can be helped to earn their own cash. Grab a pen and paper and brainstorm with your kids on how they can do this. Give them a few ideas to get them started, but make sure that they come up with some of their own – entrepreneurship can start from as young as three!

Even the little ones can earn for things like making cards for birthdays, selling their crafts to family members, putting on a singing show, giving foot massages, de-weeding the garden (or other chores that do not form part of their normal family contributions) or anything else that suits their skills and personality. It’s important for them to brainstorm with you as this boosts their creativity and ensures that they will do something that they love in order to make their money – something that most adults have forgotten how to do!

The things that we want don’t just fall from the sky – children need to learn that their desires, belief in themselves, AND taking action are what create their realities. The law of attraction does work, but you do need to participate.

It is never too early (or too late) to start learning financial skills. Helping your kids with this one fun exercise can have lasting effects on the way that they are conditioned to think about and work with money, and can save them from years of debilitating stress.

Image – Gallo