23 August 19
Reading time: 4 minutes
There are heaps of ways to get the kids engaged in a positive way with how money works. Research shows that children who are encouraged to talk about money, are given money regularly and have responsibility for their spending and saving tend to do better with money when they grow up. Here are our top five ways to get kids thinking about money:
For younger children, play is a great way to keep talking about money fun and engaging. For example, children love playing shop. So why not make it as real as possible, adding price tags to items to show that things cost money?
Start by showing them the difference between coins and how many you need to buy an item. Explain that two $1 coins equal a $2 coin and how that can be used to buy something they want.
One of the benefits of using real coins is that it helps children get used to handling money in everyday situations. You can also use this as an opportunity to explain that "money doesn’t grow on trees" – when it’s gone, they have to save up to get more.
If your children are on a screen, watch it with them and use the opportunity to introduce them to money topics. Be open and frank.
Explain to them how adverts try to get them to buy things. If your children have some of their own money to look after, think about having a safe place for your child to keep money, like jars for spending, saving, giving and growing. And don’t forget to talk about why it’s important to keep money safe.
For older children, you can talk about bills, budgeting and where money goes – or ask them to help you find the best price by comparing prices in shops or online.
Being out in the "real world" is a great place to give your children hands-on practical experience.
For example, the next time you are in the supermarket, let your children pay. It’s also good to give your child a small amount of money to buy something they want. Help them make a plan for their money, show them how to pay and how to check the change.
Children also love a challenge – how many ways can they help you save?
Pocket money is a great way to give children responsibility for money. The amount you give doesn’t matter – even the smallest amount of pocket change can help children learn how to manage it.
Parents can decide whether pocket money is given in exchange for doing chores at home, or whether children are given an allowance each week – the main thing is that they get a chance to practise with their own money.
It can be difficult dealing with children who set their minds on having something! But there are ways to make it less stressful.
For example, you can make a list before you go out shopping. Let your children help with this list and explain the importance of sticking to it when out and about. Try to plan ahead for tricky places like toy shops, and agree what you’re buying beforehand.
Finally, remember that it’s perfectly okay to say no to your children when they ask for things. Just make sure you explain why – take this as an opportunity to teach them that we have money for our needs (like food, heating, our house) but not always for our wants (like lollies or toys).