Our children are taught many things at school. However, possibly one of the most important aspects of life is often overlooked in school curricula, money, and finance.
FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme) researchers discovered that over one-quarter of all UK children under twelve years have no experience of money and finance. With around eight million UK citizens in problematic debt, and forty percent with less than £300 savings, the earlier kids get taught about money, the better, according to Citizens Advice.
If you have kids of primary school age, here are five tips to get them more money-wise.
Count Using Money
Your kids may not see you pay with banknotes or coins much of the time. Online and contactless payments are predominant, and young children don’t get to see you physically handing something over in return for your goods.
To learn the real value of money, children need to understand it and its worth. You can start to instill this knowledge by counting out coins and notes.
Start with one hundred one penny coins, then you can build on that with different coin combinations. For instance, how many ten, twenty, and fifty pence coins in £1?
You can then do the same for banknotes; how many five-pound notes are there in £20, or £50? When they are building their confidence, you can try mixing coins and notes.
These simple exercises will improve your child’s mathematical skills and make them familiar with handling cash.
What Can You Buy For £1?
It is challenging for children to grasp the concept of money straight off. One method of teaching them the value of money is to give them £1 and take them on a shopping trip.
You could make a couple of trips, one to some high street shops, and the other to a supermarket. How much were they able to buy? Which venue was cheaper? Could they afford what they wanted?
These activities will give children a better understanding of the value of money and what they can afford.
An excellent method of teaching children how to handle money is by giving them pocket money to spend. Trusting your children with a little bit of cash each week will start getting them to take care of their spending and finances. They will have to start making decisions on whether to spend it on something small, save it for a more substantial treat, or a bit of both.
You can also introduce incentives for them to increase their incomes, such as chores around the home. Make sure these jobs are additional to what they usually do, to encourage them to provide service in return for money.
Pocket money will start a dialogue about money between your children and you. It allows you to talk to them about the concept of money, savings, and earning money. Also about its value, and that once it’s been spent, it’s gone.
Teaching your children how to save from an early age will instill this habit in their lives. If you give them pocket money, discuss the benefits of putting some of it aside. They can have a separate piggy bank for this, or you might even open a savings account for them.
A fantastic way to encourage your children to save is by matching their savings. So, for every £1 they save, you give them another £1, for instance.
Setting goals for their savings is another excellent method of encouraging their savings habits. They might want to save up to save up for a new bike, a day trip, or some new toy. The more personal it is to the child, the more likely they will be to stick to it. Help them set their goal and monitor them to help them on their way.
Explain Cashless Payments
Transactions are becoming evermore conducted without the use of hard cash. When children see you buying something online, downloading a movie, or ordering some service through an app, they might not realise that they need to be paid for.
Explain that when they click a Payment, Download, or Order button, they are committed to paying for that product or service. An excellent demonstration would be to take the same amount of cash and show them how much it costs. Or you could go through your credit card statement to show them the cost of cashless payments.
When your children understand physical cash, you may want to introduce them to cashless payments gradually. You could set up a prepaid card and then upload their pocket money to it every week or month.
Services such as gohenry provide this type of debit card system, and it can start for children as young as six. You can also set spending limits and restrictions on where the card is used.
Money is one of the most important aspects of everyone’s lives. Getting your children to understand and respect it from an early age will give them a fantastic financial awareness for the rest of their lives.