Invisible Money – How to teach kids about money in a cashless society

Think for a moment about how many of your day to day transactions are made with actual notes and coins. In a world without cash, what are the implications for teaching children about money?

The Global Issue of Invisible Money

In 2014, the US Parents, Kids and Money Survey suggested 73% of parents agree that because of digital transactions, kids think of money differently than they did when they were growing up. An Australian survey revealed that over one in three (35%) children simply don’t know how digital purchases are paid for. Whilst in the UK consumers recently passed an important milestone on the path to a cashless society, with cash now used for less than half of all payments. These statistics highlight the influence digital technologies can have on how children understand money.

Not seeing physical money exchanged for purchases makes it harder for kids to get their heads around what things cost and how money works. They might not easily see the link between the ‘invisible money’ of online payments or contactless purchases with real money eventually coming in and out of their own bank account.

invisible money how to teach kids about money in a cashless society

Where Money Comes From

It’s not difficult to see how in an age where we can slot a plastic card into a ‘hole in the wall’ and obtain physical currency, or where you can ‘tap and go’ to pay, how our children might not fully understand where the money used to pay for things comes from. One method of explaining this is to describe to your kids the purchase path or the flow of money; from earning it, to depositing into the bank and ultimately the final purchase and receipt.

Making the point of using cash occasionally, rather than electronic funds can also help to provide younger children with a visual representation of how currency works. Once they understand physical money you could slowly introduce them to the idea of online and credit purchases.

 

Pocket Money and Chores

Many parents recognise the value of using pocket money, or an allowance, to teach children about budgeting. Giving your children pocket money in return for jobs around the house can help them understand the connection between time spent doing work and money. A weekly pocket money allowance can also help to develop your kids’ budgeting skills. If you give them a weekly sum which includes both an element for daily routine activities plus some personal discretionary money, it can teach them to prioritise between needs and wants and make choices around spending and saving.

Understanding the True Cost

Mobile phones and tablets make it easier for your children to spend money online sometimes without even knowing it. Another example of invisible money is where many games and apps are now ‘freemium’ – meaning that whilst the app was initially free to download, it will proceed to ask users to purchase special features or content for a fee. If making app purchases is not prevented by a password prompt, then a couple of accidental taps in a game could cause your children to make real-money purchases.

Figures show that 61% of kids are buying apps or making in-app purchases every month, it’s important therefore as parents to establish some ground rules to ensure your child is conscious and aware of the money he or she may spend and its consequences. One useful tip is to ask for the money from your child before they make the purchase to establish the connection that it is still real money.

Setting up a bank account.

Once they are old enough and especially when your child has a job or gets an allowance, having a bank account and watching the balance grow (or shrink) is important. By downloading the bank’s app they can easily monitor and track his or her spending. Another important habit for later in life.

If you can’t beat them join them

The ease and convenience of cashless transactions puts us on an irresistible march towards a cashless society perhaps in your child’s lifetime. Get them prepared early by giving them a prepaid card with a weekly or monthly allowance. These cards can be monitored online and teach the principle that money, whether invisible or not, can only be spent once.

 

Tips on Teaching Children About Money

Children tend to think that money grows on trees. Most children can’t walk through a shop without asking if they can have something. A simple ‘no’ may result in a meltdown if you have an infant in the family. It’s all part and parcel of parenting, but so is teaching your child about money. There will come a day when your children will have to know that you work hard to give them what they have and that the value of money is important. So, how do you teach a child about money?

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Let Them Handle It

As your child gets old enough to do sums, let them handle money. Use the money to work on their mathematics skills at home. You’ll be surprised how a jar full of pennies can occupy a child. You may also want to let them calculate what they spend when you’re out shopping. For instance, if your child has birthday money to spend, ask them to stay within their limit by adding up the cost of their items. You can also ask them to pay at the till and wait for any change.

Give Them a Goal

If there’s a particular toy your child wants to buy, ask them to save for it themselves. As parents its an instinct to provide your child with their needs and wants, but it’s a valuable life lesson. Offer to give your child pocket money in exchange for good behaviour, completed homework and completed chores. Agree on an amount per week and let your child work out how long it will take him/her to save for what they want.

Explain Bills

Unless you explain it, your child may not realise there’s such a thing as an electricity bill. Children have a habit of leaving lights on, wasting water and leaving the TV on when no-ones watching it. If you explain that every time they put a light on it costs money, they may think twice about doing it. You can also save money by switching energy providers. You can compare energy providers at Selectra energy comparison specialists.

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Teenage Spending

As your children get older, their wants get more expensive. When your children turn sixteen, encourage them to get their first job and save for the things they want. That may be their first car which could be the most money they’ve ever spent. Teach them how to budget their money so they have money left over to save and put towards a reliable car. Here are some of the best new cars for first time drivers.

Be Open

Remember the old chestnut, ‘not while you’re living under my roof’? Past generations didn’t tend to explain why they had to say no. If you haven’t got the money to buy something your child wants, tell them why. Explain that your money has to go towards higher priorities. They won’t always understand but giving them a reason is better than telling them that you know best. They’ll thank you for being open and honest in the long run.

Why teaching your children responsible finance is important

There will come a time when you will sit your children down and tell them how the world works. You care deeply about them, so you’ll teach them how to take care of themselves financially. You may have gone through points in your life when you have had to be frugal and times when you have invested. To set them up with the best knowledge, advice and respect for money, you will need a little help.

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Image – StartupStockPhotos

Teach them, don’t lecture them.

Start them off young. You may find lecturing your children how to be responsible with money and taking care how they use it, might be a fruitless exercise. But there are dedicated routes you can put them on, where information in fun bite-sized portions can instil in them the values you want. Millennials by the age of 15 are beginning to understand how the economy works. Instead of sitting them down for a long talk about ‘pennies make the dollars’, give them something they can digest in their own time. Books on avoiding debt and having self-restraint can be a gift on a holiday or for their birthday. Don’t force it down their throats, they are, after all, going through a rebellion period at this age.

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Image source – Pixabay

Give them responsibility

Don’t patronise your children, the youngsters today aren’t what they used to be. Technology is at their fingertips, and most kids understand it; more than you might think. Take them with you to the bank, and set up a bank account in their name. Bring them through the process and let them ask you and the branch’s financial advisor questions. Another excellent strategy to get children interested in learning about finance is to go their school and request a fun segment with books, theatre and art on money, be incorporated into their everyday learning.

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Image by – US Army Africa

A family project in renovating

For the keen, sharp-eyed investors, a property is there to be bought and sold. For the young entrepreneur, the property can be their very first business venture. Buying houses or apartments to renovate then sell, is a fantastic way for teenagers to become their own boss. As a parent or young entrepreneur, working with people you can trust such as family is crucial in taking the first step in the world of risk and reward. Buying an old house with your pooled resources and renovating the property into a modern family or professionals’ home, is a great route. When buying the materials you intend to use, look for deals, buy in bulk and plan out your budget and purchasing schedule. You will most likely be doing the renovating yourselves, so take the time to research the methods of professional builders to avoid time-consuming mistakes. When done correctly, your prudential real estate will be a hot potato, ready to be scooped up by many professionals.

Why teaching your children responsible finance is important - house for sale image

Credit – Mark Moz

Selling your hard work

Property development can be a lucrative business. It not only stirs one’s creative juices but also requires the developer to do the research that will make their property incredibly attractive to the market. When it finally comes to selling your investment, auctioning your property to the highest bidder, rather than a fixed price set by a surveyor could give you more than you expected. You’re on shaky ground at this point, because different estate agents will quote you different prices. Go online and find a company with a track record that surpasses the competition, and will fight for you and sell your hard work for the absolute maximum.

Teaching Your Kids To Save Money

You might think that your kids are too young to learn about money. They must enjoy playing as kids. They must also be dependent on you when it comes to their financial needs. Although this is true, you have to understand that it won’t be true for long.

Kids grow up really fast. Before you know it, they are off to college and your kids will make their own financial decisions. You don’t want them to keep running back to you when they are already adults just because they are buried in debts.

This is true especially if you have also gone through the same problem in the past. You must have learned things the hard way. You should let your kids know that they don’t have to suffer the same fate. By being more financially responsible, they can escape debt problems and be more financially empowered.

To begin with, you need to show them the value of saving money. Teach them to make priorities when buying stuff. They have to understand the meaning of prices. Why would they choose one over another? What would they sacrifice if they buy a toy over food?

You need to give them actual situations for them to decide on. This will force them to think and make the right choices. As they grow older, they can use what they have learned as they face more difficult challenges. You will not always be there for them. While you can, you have to make sure that you let them understand the value of money.

Below is an infographic that will teach you the best ways to let your kids realize why being financially responsible is important. Hopefully, you can show to them the right ways to save money that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.

9 Ways To Teach Kids To Manage Money

3 Ways To Inspire Your Child To Make Good Financial Decisions Through Life

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Time spent educating children is time that is never wasted. Unfortunately, despite school teachers and the school faculties best intentions, it’s difficult to fit in every lesson at school that it takes to become a responsible, sensible person in later life . Kids have a lot to deal with, not only growing up and coming to terms with their identity, but also increasing levels of responsibility as the years pass on.

Filling your child’s head with knowledge is fantastic, and will surely help them in later life. But giving them guiding principles to live by through inspiration and demonstration is more valuable than anything you can tell your kids. So how do you kindle this burning fire of curiosity that children seem to so naturally emanate? Here is a list of 6 different methods you can use to not only teach your child or pupils positive life lessons, but to bond with them as well.

  1. Take an interest in them.

Kids are naturally attention hungry, especially from those they rely on. If you water them with this special ingredient of available openness, listen to what they’d like to achieve in life, and stimulate a few ideas based off of what they say, you can really open their mind from an incredibly young age.

For example, let’s say your daughter says she’d like to ride horses and play with ponies all day when she’s older. Perhaps you could suggest she’d like to be a vet, and help all animals who are poorly feel better! Or perhaps she’d like to open a sanctuary for horses and donkeys. Sit back and watch as her eyes widen with excitement. Keep this up and she’ll start believing she can do anything, which, of course is absolutely true.

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  1. Help them envision their future life.

Helping a child envision their future life is something that is immensely beneficial to opening up their horizons. Of course there’s no need to come to concrete answers, and this exercise should be fundamentally fun. However, sometimes it’s great to stimulate their imagination. For example, you could ask what sort of pets they’d like as an adult, what countries they’d like to visit, or you could go to a website like Pink Realty to give them an idea of the house he or she would like to throw family parties in one day.

  1. Show them the benefits of saving money.

Kids are impulsive, and most adults are too. It’s a good idea to show them, through subtle, unintrusive ways, the best way to manage money effectively. You don’t have to sit them down and teach them the finer methods of understanding balance sheets, but perhaps giving them a small allowance to earn (if old enough,) and letting them spend it once a month only will teach them the value of saving in order to acquire higher value items, or replacing items they didn’t think they lost. You can also tell them in a way that will make them proud of you how your savings have helped you pay for unexpected bills etc, and they will slowly (hopefully) start emulating your habits in their teenage and young adult years.

These three combined steps will not only help your child begin good habits in a way that will bring you closer together and give them a slight understanding of how you run your family, but they will desire to emulate you. Kids are impressionable, so make sure to use this to their advantage.

This will hopefully provide the correct attitude that will stop them making big mistakes in adulthood. You can be sure then that you’ve covered at least some of the bases your tough job of parenthood requires you to address.