proud Indian father and happily son sitting on his lap
Most kids believe their parents are actually made of money or at least have access to an unending supply. Thats why its so important to talk to kids about money from an early age.

Teaching your kids to save is child's play

As parents we're constantly looking for ways to teach our kids. Whether that's through sharing our own culture, our beliefs and our understanding of how the world works or unconsciously by what we do, it seems that nothing teaches an impressionable mind, like watching.

But simply talking about saving money, can feel like a drag.

It's so important to remember that what and how we teach our children about money when they are young, will impact on their financial future. It's our responsibility to raise money smart kids.

Read in this article

It seems like a universal truth

Many children believe parents have an endless supply of money – which is why it's so important to talk to kids about money from an early age.

While pocket money might be a step in helping kids learn that money is usually earned in exchange for effort, learning about money doesn’t have to be a chore.

Real life money games

There’s plenty of games to help children learn about money matters. From a young age games like playing shop with your kids, like pretending to ‘shop’ with their toys or using food items in the kitchen, is a great start.

  • At the end of the day, by ages 4 or 5 most children have grasped how to recognise the value of money and have begun to understand the complex functions like planning ahead, delaying a decision until later and understanding that some choices are irreversible.
  • As children get older, these games can become more advanced and the time honoured favourite board-game Monopoly – where you can learn about more complex concepts like rent and taxes – can become a family favourite. It is also known to have unusual powers to reveal family insights about who in the family is a saver, a spender, budding property tycoon or even a loan shark.

And remember; becoming more comfortable with our financial literacy for most people is a continual, lifelong process, not a simple one off event or lesson learned from a book alone.

One of the great things about money related board-games is it's a visual and tactile opportunity to learn about often intangible concepts.

A free practical resource for your kids

Visual learning is better than theory alone. So we’ve created a Savings Superstar Colouring in Worksheet to help you visualise a savings goal – whatever that might be - and to keep track of the steps you make as you progress towards achieving it.

  • Yes it’s designed for kids but our experience has been that adults usually get a lot more out of it too (just saying). It's a fun and practical conversation starter (and progress checker) you can keep on the fridge door or the family notice board too.

Sapience SuperStar colouring-in worksheet

Download our free resource: Savings Superstar Colouring Worksheet

If you don't teach them, a credit card company will

I’m on record as saying that ‘buy now pay later’ credit services, like Afterpay, are the gateway drug to credit cards.

  • They perhaps can even lead someone to relying upon the exorbitant interest rates of payday loans services – high cost cash advance services - provided against the security of your weekly wage and charging you 20% of the amount borrowed +4% per month interest – all because you cannot wait to be paid at the end of the week.

Warning

While some of these credit services might be useful at times (when used carefully as part of a well considered strategy or meeting a short term serious need) they do have to be seen in the context of understanding our very human natures; to be impulsive - especially when we’re young, stressed, in love - in debt (tired or hungry) or faced with a bargain that we absolutely have to take home today.

You can start teaching better money awareness with your children (regardless of their age)

Most children learn about money matters in their home environment. The best form of financial teaching is age appropriate and relevant to the age of your child.

This provides an important head start in their understanding (and using) money and the more advanced concepts of the purpose behind savings, compounding interest, investing and using insurance to protect their savings goals too.

Pro Tip: Studies show an information imbalance across Australian society where children from poorer families generally have a higher awareness of things such as cash budgeting, while children from more affluent backgrounds were more knowledgeable about banking and other financial services.

This information imbalance can mean some children have limited opportunities to learn about the mainstream financial world and to establish a stable foundation early in life important financial knowledge and skills that we all have to use

cover 31 good money habits 400

Here’s a Free practical resource for you

We all want a better life for the children in our lives, and we're all a role model for somebody.

  • If you’d like to brush up on your own Good Money Habits, why not download our free eGuide 31 Good Money Habits to Model for Your Kids.


author pic drew browneDrew Browne is a specialty Financial Risk Advisor working with Small Business Owners & their Families, Dual Income Professional Couples, and diverse families. He's an award-winning writer, speaker, financial adviser and business strategy mentor. His business Sapience Financial Group is committed to using business solutions for good in the community. In 2015 he was certified as a B Corp., and in 2017 was recognised in the inaugural Australian National Businesses of Tomorrow Awards. Today he advises Small Business Owners and their families, on how to protect themselves, from their businesses.  He writes for successful Small Business Owners and Industry publications. You can read his Modern Small Business Leadership Blog here. You can connect with him on LinkedIn Any information provided is general advice only and we have not considered your personal circumstances. Before making any decision on the basis of this advice you should consider if the advice is appropriate for you based on your particular circumstance.

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