How to make your kids into good financial managers

How to make your kids into good financial managers

These days, kids are getting into debt early. We’ve all heard the stories about students racking up thousands of dollars worth of debt and this can start even earlier when kids are in their teens. With credit card companies offering sweet deals as soon as kids are old enough to sign, it’s no surprise that so many are ending up in debt. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As parents we can do our part to teach children financial responsibility from a very young age. Here are some tips.

Get them a piggy bank

If kids are old enough to get money, then they are old enough to start saving. Get your kids a piggy bank so that they can start saving up the spare change they get from you, the presents from grandma and any cash that comes their way. Encourage them to put most of the money in the piggy bank and leave it there. That gets them started with the habit of saving money. After a while though, the piggy bank will get full and that’s when you move to the next stage.

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Get them a bank account

Your child is never too young to have a bank account even if you have to take responsibility for it at the start. You can make it into a big event to empty the piggy bank every so often, count up the money and deposit it in a bank account. Your child will enjoy seeing the bank balance grow even if he or she has no idea what to do with it yet.

The saving habit

Kids always want stuff so encourage them to take some financial responsibility. When they get money they can allocate some of it towards buying a treasured purchase, as long as they save most of it. Some parents use the matched funding method, where if a child is able to save half the purchase price the parent will pay the rest. This works well for younger kids with less earning potential.

The earning habit

Encourage your kids to do odd jobs to earn pocket money or boost their savings for a planned purchase. Having to earn the money themselves will give them a greater appreciation of what it takes to get it and they are less likely to fritter it away. This is one rule that you may want to apply with care because you have to make the distinction between the jobs that are regular household responsibilities and those which have earning potential.

Take them shopping

There’s nothing to teach your kids the value of money then taking them shopping with you so they can see exactly how much the products you buy cost. This also helps them to compare the relative costs of different brands so when they are older and go out on their own they won’t get a nasty shock. It’s also worth letting them see you comparison shop for household utilities. Let them celebrate with you when you get a cheap broadband deal or save money on electricity.

Encourage financial caution

This is one area where you can lead by example. Let your kids see that where possible you spend no more than you earn. Where you do need to buy something on credit you don’t spend excessively and you do repay it as soon as possible to avoid racking up high interest charges. Letting your kids understand the thinking behind your own money management practices is the best way to help them avoid a future debt trap.

 Celebrate entrepreneurship

There’s more to managing money than simply avoiding debt. Sometimes you have to find innovative ways of making money. So when your kids want to set up a lemonade stand or start a vegetable delivery business, help them to plan and achieve it. However it turns out, they will learn a lot from the experience which will help them manage money well throughout their lives.

Build skills gradually

When children get used to having a savings account, let them move to a checking account once they are old enough. Also consider a debit card or prepaid debit card before allowing them to have a credit card. If you are going to give your kid a credit card then explain how credit works, how interest works and why they need to pay on time. Backed by the other lessons you have given them they will soon be adept at managing their own money.


6 lessons to teach your kids how to stay away from debts in future

Many parents are not particularly inclined to discuss their debt and finance related issues with their kids. As an invariable result, kids remain unaware of crucial financial factors like debt management, savings, account dealings and face severe difficulty to handle these matters in the long run. There are certain skills and habits which every child needs to learn and develop from an early age. Financial discipline is one of them. If your kids come to know how to effectively spend, save and survive today, they can surely attain a better financial future tomorrow. Follow the instructions given below and provide your children the basic knowledge required to stay out of debt in future.

  • ‘Children need models more than they need critics’. The first lesson of money management to kids starts when their parents are not even aware of it.  Kids follow the footsteps of their elders blindly. Manage your finances well and spend your money wisely to set a perfect example to them. To stay out of debt spend within your limits. To teach your kids the difference between wants and needs, live frugally. Being frugal does not mean spending no money at all; it means think before you buy, and wait to buy until you can afford it.
  • Discuss your financial issues with your children. No matter how complicated your financial status are, attempt to make some simple bed time stories with them. Do not evade or ignore any of their queries, answer them clearly. Show them how you pay your due bills and how the ATM, checking accounts or credit cards works.
  • Make your children financially responsible by letting them spend money on their own. Of course, you are there to guide them but, make sure your child grow up making some of their own financial decisions as well. Let them commit mistakes and learn the lessons from them. If needed, confide in them your financial blunders in the past. In this way you may not be able to stop them completely from making any mistakes but at least they will be less likely to repeat these mistakes as adults.
  • Take into account your kid’s feedback and suggestions while you are planning your budget. This will give them an overall idea about the price list and monthly expenses. Make sure it should not make them feel guilty or upset for costing you so much.
  • Young kids love to collect and save pennies, present them with a piggy bank to indulge in this habit. For teen kids you better open a savings account and let him watch it grow. It will generate a sense of interest and excitement in them and they will put more efforts and hard work to save in these accounts. Excitement and anticipation both are essential to make your child keener to save money.
  • Start giving your child a weekly or monthly allowance from an early age. Instruct them not only to manage their weekly expenses within limited means but also to save a portion of it. Trigger their emotions by teaching them to donate a portion of their savings to people who are less fortunate.

All these above mentioned points are lifelong ways to teach your kids about money management. When your child becomes old enough to ask for toys or candy, it means they’re old enough to learn some lessons of financial awareness as well. As soon as they learn to count, you can start imparting your basic lessons about spending and saving. Remember the sooner they learn these lessons and apply them to their lives, it is better for their financial well being.


Why we should be teaching kids about money

In this short video interview I was asked to describe why it’s so important to teach kids about money and the unique approach of Financial Fairy Tales in making financial literacy fun for younger children.

Please enjoy and add your comments below