Children like shopping for new things just as much as adults do but there is a big difference. Children usually get their money from their parents or relatives while adults have to earn their money. This is an obvious difference as the value of a dollar is not easily explained to a five year old who wants the latest toy.
There is no need to wait until they are teenagers to teach them the value of money. Children can be given the opportunity to learn about money from an early age. This allows them to grow up to become responsible adults who can manage their own financial affairs.
Children between the ages of 3-5 years old can be taught that not everything they see in the store will be bought for them. Parents must teach their children self control at an early stage. Eventually they will understand that their parents must balance the essentials against their desire for frivolous things.
Every time the child receives money such as from a birthday, parents divide the money into two sections: save and spend. Allow your child to use the spending money for small purchases, like candy. The saving portion of the money is to be used for more expensive items.
Older children who are given lunch money can be encouraged to save some of their money each week to save. Every time money is added to save, make a note of it and help the child to count up how much she has, talk with her about how much she needs to reach her goal, and when she will reach it.
Some schools have savings programmes that they offer along in partnerships with banks. I remember in primary school I was given a bank book and saved with the representative from the bank who came every week to collect our deposits. Withdrawals from our account were only done by our parents who were also on the account.
This helped us in maintaining the account and at the end of six years we had the opportunity to continue saving by making deposits at the regular bank.
If your child really wants to buy an expensive item, allow them to set goals and make a plan. Decide with your child how much the item costs, how much money do they currently have and how much they will need.
Then assist your child in making up a budget that outlines how much money they will need to save on a monthly basis in order to accomplish their goal.
How do you help your children to manage their money?
Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner online writer