Teaching children money skills is a hot debate.
Who should be responsible, parents or teachers?
Although financial education is now compulsory in UK schools, there is no set curriculum and free schools and academies to not follow the national curriculum anyway, meaning it is ad hoc at best.
There was a time I thought more should be done in schools, and to a certain degree I still do think children need to learn some basic money and life skills whilst still in education.
However, the problem with teaching it in schools is you are at the mercy of your teachers financial knowledge.
The APPG Report on financial education and the curriculum threw up some interesting, yet scary stats.
Two thirds of people in the UK feel too confused to make the right choices about their money and over a third say they don’t feel they have the right skills to properly manage their cash.
If ever there was something we needed to hear to make us certain something needs to be done it is that!
In this article I am going to show you some really simple things you can do at home that you can do to teach your children money skills they will most certainly need in the future.
Make a jobs board
We never really truly understand the value of money until we start to earn it.
If you have the finances to allow your child to run around town splashing the cash like Paris Hilton without a care in the world where it came from, that’s up to you.
However, the reality is most of us do not have a multi million dollar family fortune to spend our way through, and understanding it has to be earned is the first and most vital lesson we all need.
That’s where the jobs board comes in.
Make a list of things you would like doing around the house and give everything in it a wage.
Complete the job, earn the wage.
If they don’t fancy any of those jobs, or have just failed to complete them, hard cheese, no wages this week.
Or just wages for what they have managed to complete.
See the picture below for an idea of setting up your own jobs board.
Get them involved in the family budget
If they aren’t aware how much things cost compared to what is coming in, they will never understand that sticking to a budget is important.
I questioned everything as a child, like everything, and ‘I can’t afford it’ was never enough of an explanation for me.
Talking about money is still a taboo subject to this day, so as a child in the 80s it was very rarely discussed.
Something as simple as talking me through it would have helped me understand what my mum was going through trying to balance the books.
I wasn’t a brat, I just never took anyone’s word on anything until I had seen it for myself – nothing much has changed on that front!
Get them involved, give them some of your budget for them to decide on a day out or a treat, but nothing outside of that budget.
The idea is to make them understand that money has to be stretched over the month and shopping around for something affordable is the only way to manage.
Create the Parent Bank
There are going to be some things in life that have to be saved for, where buying out of one months wages is just not possible.
Making them understand that now will prevent them looking for the easiest options later on in life – such as taking out unnecessary credit agreements.
We have become a ‘buy now, pay later’ society and can anyone really say we’re better off for it?
Encourage them to save 20% of anything they ‘earn’ and offer them an interest rate for doing so.
Seeing money grow just by saving it will open their eyes to the benefit of saving regularly.
Instilling this in them early will mean they have a greater understanding that we can’t have everything we want straight away.
Some things in life need to be saved for, and if you are in the habit of saving regularly then there will always be a pot of savings to go to, in an emergency, or if you just want to treat yourself a bit!
These are the nice easy basics to teach your children money skills.
As they start getting into their teenage years introducing them to finance agreements and credit cards is a wise move.
The bank is certainly not going to teach your children anything about money anytime soon.
You can do your bit to get them prepared and put methods in place to prevent them falling into the debt trap later on in life.
Have you started to teach your children money skills yet?
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