Money and Kids – Part 1

I’ve been reading some really interesting (and worrying) articles about children and how best to teach them the value of money lately…and it really got me thinking – how does one instil financial literacy from an early age?

The Royals have money boxes mainly filled with money they find around the house, that’s most likely fallen out of the other half’s pockets after work…and they treat it like pirate treasure. Lately they’ve started wanting to take their money when we go shopping so they can have a ride on those kiddy rides strategically placed at every entrance to a shopping centre for maximum parent irritability!

So we sat down together and talked about the different colours, sizes and values of the coins, and I showed them how much they would need to buy a ride. I’ve been avoiding the shops like the plague ever since because well, I can’t quite place my finger on it…maybe I don’t want them to spend their money – or learn the hard lesson about money not growing on trees / falling out of pockets and being a limited resource?

Hopefully it will at the very least lessen the asking every-single-time we walk past one of those rides, and for that I will be grateful – and I guess it’s a bit of an experiment really, what will happen when they run out of coins and still want more rides, isn’t it?

I really like the idea of the three jars – one to save, one to spend and one to donate/use to buy something for someone less fortunate that us, and now the Royals are getting a bit older I think we might set up something like that for them soon.

I think it’s getting more challenging for kids growing up today to understand money – as they almost never see it! So many purchases are all cash free, the Royals know how to use the paywave/touch terminal (I’m going to regret that one day soon) but all that’s done is to make the dollars invisible!

They understand that daddy goes to work and earns dollars, but there’s no envelope pay-checks with cash in anymore…no supermarket shopping with counting out the coins and notes like when I was a kid…it’s invisible and I’m concerned.

How are they going to learn to respect such an ‘intangible’ asset? Yes, I could draw cash out and pay for everything, but I don’t…it feels like it would be an inconvenience!

Maybe I should literally put my money where my mouth is and try it out for a week…see if it changes my spending habits at the local café or the supermarket where I’ll worry I won’t have enough to pay for everything (reminds me of my uni days lol) I wonder if that would be helpful for them? Maybe I’ll try it out and see, watch this space…

To read the next article in the series, click here.

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