Spending Habits That Your Kids Must Never Pick Up

Children are easily influenced during their early years. This is mainly because they don’t know better and they draw inspiration from the things around them. They’ll look at their parents and friends to learn how they should interact with the world, and it’s important that you instil good habits into your children from an early age.

With technological advances and the internet being more open and accessible, spending habits are a major concern among children. There are many horror stories of children spending thousands on smartphone and tablet games and apps because they don’t know better. It doesn’t help that apps now make it easy for you to make multiple back-to-back purchases and there’s virtually no protection unless you enable the child locks. Even then, it’s easy to make mistakes and your children need to be protected from these types of bad spending habits. To help you out, we’ve put together some useful advice that will help you teach your children better spending habits.

Spending Habits That Your Kids Must Never Pick Up - kids toys image

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Teach your children about finances as early as possible

You could run some games or exercises with your children that teach them about money and debt. It might be a difficult concept for them to understand, but with a bit of teaching and patience, it’s possible to teach kids good financial habits from an early age. However, this does mean that you need to be firm and vigilant with how you spend on them.

No more spoiling

Don’t use your kids as an excuse to make large purchases because this will only spoil them. Many parents don’t realize that spoiling your children is a quick way to teach them poor financial habits. It doesn’t matter if it’s sweets, a soft toy or the latest electronic gadgets–you need to be firm with them and stop them from coercing you into buying them extra things. Instead, encourage spending on meaningful things such as extracurricular activities, classroom equipment or extra study material. Teach your kids the difference between good and bad spending and you’ll be surprised at how mature they can be at a young age.

Spending Habits That Your Kids Must Never Pick Up - girl in toy car image

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Taking money too lightly

If possible, teach your children early on about what it takes to make money. Whether it’s applying for loans online or digging into your bank account with the auto-saved details, your children may start to take money lightly because they can see how easily you obtain it. While getting an online loan can be positive and beneficial, it’s still important to teach your children that money is not easy to obtain and it doesn’t grow on trees. It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to obtain and it’s important they understand this at an early age.

Some final words

As mentioned at the beginning, children are easy to influence. What you teach them at an early age will stick with them forever, so instil some good financial habits into them from an early age and balance how you spoil them so that it doesn’t become the norm.

Survey reveals the influence of Mums on money habits

Mum Knows Best

Britons’ money habits are most influenced by their mothers

  • 36% of Brits say that their mothers have had the most influence on the way
    they handle their money
  • We are twice as likely to consult Mum than Dad on our daily spending
  • More than half of people say their father took control of their household
    finances when they were growing up

New research from M&S Money reveals that our mothers are the biggest
influences on our financial habits.

M&S Money surveyed 1000 people to find out about how their family has
influenced their finances. The research reveals that 36% say that their mothers
have had the most influence on the way they handle their money, compared to 32%
who say it is their fathers.

Grandparents (3%) and siblings (1%) have little influence while 24% say their
family have no influence over their financial habits at all. It seems we also
follow our own gender as a role model; women are most likely to say it is their
mother that has most affected their financial habits (39%) while men are most
likely to say that it is their father (36%)

When it comes to their daily spending, more than twice the number of people
would consult Mum for her point of view instead of Dad. 22% would ask their
mother about their day to day finances, while just 8% would consult their father
on matters such as shopping or saving. Indeed, 6 in 10 people say they are not
like their fathers at all when it comes to their finances.

It is only when the stakes are high that we turn to our Dads for occasional
advice. When making large financial decisions such as buying a house or a car,
one in five (20%) would turn to their father for advice compared to 11% who
would ask their mothers.

Despite more people saying their Mum has been the biggest influence on their
money habits, more than half (55%) of people say their father took control of
their household finances while they were growing up, while for 40% it was their
mother.

Colin Kersley, Chief Executive of M&S Money, said:

“While it may not always have been our mothers who controlled large financial
decisions and the overall household budget when we were growing up, it seems
they are now the ones who we are most likely to turn to for advice on day to day
matters such as saving and spending.

“Our fathers do still have a clear role in being first point of call for
advice on bigger purchases. It is great that we see the value of both parents in
helping us through the many different financial decisions we face on a daily
basis such as choosing the best home for our hard earned cash.”

Table 1: How our family has influenced our finances

Dad Mum Grandparents Sibling
Took responsibility for household finances 55% 40% 3%
Has most affected my financial habits 32% 36% 5% 1%
Would consult on large financial issue 20% 11% 2% 7%
Would consult on small financial matter 8% 22% 1% 8%
Least likely to take financial advice from 12% 12% 5% 24%

Regional Findings

  • Mums are the biggest financial influencers of all regions except for the
    West Midlands (42%), North West (39%) and South West (29%) where Dad’s are the
    biggest influences.
  • Scotland is the only region where more people say that their mother (51%)
    took responsibility for household finances when they were growing up rather than
    their father (47%).
  • The West Midlands is the only region where people are more likely to say
    they are like their father when it comes to financial matters than they are not
    (52%).
  • Scots are the only people in the UK who are more likely to ask their father
    (14%) than their mother (9%) for advice on their day to day spending.