Guest post by Vanessa Cameron, Managing Director of Qwiddle.
Financial skills are essential to navigating your way through life. That’s why I can’t stress how important teaching your kids good money management skills is – the sooner we take advantage of everyday teachable moments, the better off our kids will be.
Recently, it came to light that a whopping 50% of parents don’t discuss money with their children. What’s more, 40% of parents believe that children should not have to worry about money, even though the majority of parents agree that they are the biggest influencer when it comes to teaching their children about finance. From an extremely early age, teaching children about money and giving them responsibility, means not only do they become better at saving now, but they can plan for their future.
As a parent, you probably already understand the importance of introducing your children to the world of finance, or at least to a certain extent – it can help them gain good money habits for the rest of their lives. However, whilst it is up to us to raise a generation of mindful consumers, savers and givers, the financial landscape can be extremely tricky to navigate. That’s why I want to share a few key tips with you.
I think the most important advice I can offer is to start teaching your kids positive money management from an early age. It has been proven that children as young as three can learn concepts such as saving and spending. For example, from a very young age kids can learn all about patience and the right response when they don’t instantly get their way – a skill that will translate into positive money management. Tell your child that if they really want a sweet now then they can, but if they wait longer then they can have two! Try and encourage them to wait a little longer. Something as simple as this later converts into an understanding that waiting longer (i.e. saving) results in a bigger pay off.
As children approach the age of six, I think it’s extremely important that they have some form of allowance. That’s where Qwiddle comes in really handy! You can help your child value their pocket money by giving them the responsibility to save, manage and spend. Talk with your child about having a goal that they can save towards, something that motivates them. Explain this goal will be come closer if they work hard and earn money, rather than waiting for it to just fall into their lap. Qwiddle allows children to set their own financial goals with parents regulating and rewarding tasks and exercises such as chores or when homework has been completed. The importance of hard work will be implanted early, seeing your child wanting to strive towards a positive future.
No matter how old your child is, I strongly believe in the importance of positive reinforcement. By expressing pride in your child’s efforts to save, your child is less likely to purge. And even if they do, (which at some stage is more likely than not) encourage your child to begin saving again. It’s important to remember some of life’s best lessons come from making poor decisions – when your child is young, the financial loss won’t be huge and they can start again. So this lesson is best instilled now!
From any age, I think it’s also crucial to save money in-front of your children. Our kids really look up to us and will always want to do what we’re doing. Therefore, one of the best things you can do is let your child watch you actively saving money. Have a jar or a piggy bank, tell them what you’re saving for and then let them watch as it gradually fills up. They will want to join in too!
These are just a few tips that I think can really help when teaching your kids about money, so they can look to a brighter future.
I’m always keen to hear how you teach your kids about finance and positive money management skills, so please do get in touch!