Teaching Children About Personal Finances
First Published: ADawnJournal.com February 16, 2010
When it comes to teaching children about money and personal finances, we all seem to tumble and often it seems like a taboo. Here are some ideas that will help you teach your kids how to become financially responsible and successful in their adult lives.
You should start teaching your children the value of money at a young age. Explain to them the difference between needs and wants and tell them that money does not grow on trees. Money comes from hard work and each of us has responsibilities to our family, community, and the world.
Do not pay kids a straight allowance without guiding them towards what to do with it properly. When you give them an allowance, break it down into categories such as 10% or 15% should go to their savings account, and what other percentages that should be spent to pay for their books, activities, lunch, and so on.
Do not pay kids to do regular household chores that they would normally do. Explain to them what regular chores they are required to do and what chores can be considered special projects they can get paid for – if they are able to complete it successfully. These chores are outside regular ones and you would hire someone else to do it normally. Examples are: mowing the lawn, cleaning the backyard, and so on.
Once kids have a fair idea of what money is, start teaching them how a bank works, what a credit card is and why it charges interest, what a budget is and why it is important. The age range to discuss this would be 7 – 10.
Once kids start earning money, ask them to save 15 – 20 %. Explain to them that it is very important to spend less than what they earn and to save 15 – 20% continuously as they continue working into their adulthood. If they can follow this simple rule, they will be very rich one day.
It’s a very good idea to encourage kids to pursue entrepreneurial and marketable skills. Discuss with your kids what it means to be an entrepreneur and encourage them to use their creativity to find money making ideas or to open a business kids can operate in the surrounding neighbourhoods. Also, explain to them how some skills can pay off for their lifetime and it is worth learning these skills at an early age. Examples are: writing stories, setting up online blog and make money from it, learning graphics designing, learning how to repair a bike, learning how to paint, how to fix a computer, and so on. Don’t pressure kids to learn what you think will be in demand; rather, let them find the stuff they are interested in and wanting to learn.
Explain to your kids that education is very important. Even if they start making tons of money with their business or entrepreneurial skills, it is important to have a 4-year degree. Encourage them to pay their tuition with their own money – as much as possible. This will make them understand the value of each dollar and will teach them to appreciate what they have.
Giving is very important. Teach kids the joy of giving. Explain to them that we live on a small planet called “Earth” and not everyone is as fortunate as we are. We all can help those who need it most by donating, participating in voluntary works, helping charity organizations, and opening ourselves to build a better world.
Teaching kids about money is one of the best things you can ever give to your kids. It will build a solid financial roadmap for them to follow and will help them to secure a better financial future for their lifetime.