With the economic strain the Coronavirus has put on the UK – even the world, it’s more important now than ever to teach children the value of money.
Virus aside, teaching your children good money habits from an early age is a vital lesson that will help them as they reach adult hood. Research even shows that most children will develop their money habits from the age of 7 so it is never to early to start.
Teach them how to save
Children are very visual so having a money jar is a perfect way for them to save as they’ll get a thrill of watching the jar fill up. If there is something in particular they want, encourage them to save money for that item rather than dipping into the jar as and when.
Saving is a very valuable life skill, even if you have to top up the amount to get them the item they want, buying their first big item with their own money will be very rewarding for any child. And you never know, they may even look after the item knowing they paid for it!
Explain the difference between ‘need’ and ‘want’
Go through a list with your child of all the things they want to buy. Discuss with them which items they 'need' and which ones they 'want'. Talk to them the difference between the two, and encourage them that they should put the ‘need’ items before the ‘want’ ones.
Let them learn from their mistakes
If your child decides to spend all of their money on sweets after school on Tuesday, even after you advised them not to as you knew they wanted that new toy that was coming out at the weekend and then decides that they want to buy said toy whilst at the shopping centre on Saturday, make sure you stick to your guns and tell them they cannot buy the toy right now as they spent all of their money on sweets.
It is essential that children make their own choices and deal with the consequences from those actions.
Set an example
If your child sees you splashing money left right and centre, they will learn to expect that all the time. Show them that you can’t splurge buy just because you want the item now. If you're out clothes shopping or at the supermarket have a chat with your child on what you’re buying and why you’re buying it, you could even pick up some items that you want but aren’t buying because you are saving for this or because it isn’t needed right now.
Put a price on chores
Put a price on each of the chores that your child has and pay them when they have completed them. We aren’t talking a lot of money here, just enough that you are comfortable with. You could even put more money on the chores that your child hates doing. This will encourage them to do the chore and they will get a satisfaction out of doing it as they have earned extra money to put into their savings jar.
You can find ideas here on activities you can do with your children to teach them further about the value of money.