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– Daniel Britton
Teaching children from an early age how to save and budget in a fun and educational way you can lay the foundations for sound money management later in life.
6 Fun Ways to Teach Children About Money
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It is a widely held belief that the earlier in life children learn a foreign language, the quicker they are able to pick it up and achieve fluency. The same is true when it comes to teaching children about money and developing financial fluency. Teaching children from an early age how to save and budget in a fun and educational way can lay the foundations for sound money management later in life.
A recent study indicates that with as little as 10 hours of financial education, teachers and parents can positively influence children's future saving and spending habits.
A good place to start teaching children about money is by demonstrating how money is used in exchange for goods and services, showing them that by making their own purchases they are in fact trading with the shop owner and receiving the product in exchange. For example, next time you are shopping, try to have the exact change for the product and give it to your child. Let your child hand over the money to the cashier and after you have left the shop, you can talk about how the money paid for the item.
6 fun ways to help teach children about money.
1) Fun, fun, Fun - make a game of both saving and spending. If only spending money is fun then they will not associate any pleasure with saving.
2) Routines - When your child receives money as presents establish a routine, like putting some or all of it in their piggy bank or savings account. They will most likely take these traditions forward into their own families.
3) Consistency - If you pay pocket money in return for helping around the house, make sure they actually do the work! Even very young children can be responsible for tidying away their own toys or clothes. It's a good idea to give a set amount on a regular day but also encourage their entrepreneurial spirit by giving them the opportunity to earn more if they seek it.
4) Look after the pennies - Turning off the lights, saving their pennies and giving small donations to charity collections are small things that create positive habits which may last a lifetime. Ensure that you explain why you are doing it and what the benefits are. Charitable giving can illustrate to your child that there are others less fortunate and introduce the idea to be grateful that they have more than enough.
5) Consequences - When your children ask for something, rather than say no. Ask them if they would like to buy it from their own money and explain what the consequences are. You may find that they are more reluctant to spend their own money than they are yours!
6) Praise, praise, praise - We may learn by our mistakes but by praising we reinforce positive behavior and will encourage children to do the right thing out of choice 'because it feels good'. This can be applied to saving, spending wisely and giving to charity.
It is important to always approach teaching children about money with openness and honesty, giving a constant and clear message. Explain to them why they can or cannot have certain items they wish to buy. You can't always say yes to a request for money and if it has to be a no, it does few favors being over indulgent, but equally the 'because I said so' clause has little educational merit.
Consider also the type of signals about money that your child picks up on. You may feel it's important to let your child know family money matters are private, and not for discussion outside the home. If however, as parents you talk in hushed tones over bills and bank statements, your child may deduce that finances are something to be secretive and furtive about. Similarly, if they pick up some stress and anxiety over money, this too is an unwanted value that can be carried forward into adult life.
Daniel Britton is an author, inspirational speaker and success coach. His latest book The Financial Fairy Tales teaches children about money in a fun and engaging way. Please click here to visit the site for more information and exclusive offers