In the digital age, parents cannot afford to neglect the crucial responsibility of teaching their kids about managing money.
Ester Ochse, FNB Wealth and Investments Product Specialist says whether it’s a billboard on the way to school, lifestyle images in a magazine or social media images of their favourite celebrity or idol – children can access information which may give them a misguided view of how money is ‘easily’ earned and how it should be used.
“Once a child has pre-conceived ideas of how money management supposedly works, it may be difficult for parents to entrench their preferred principles. Hence, it’s important to start the money conversation very early in a child’s life,” says Ochse.
There are practical ways to help your children get to grips with managing money:
1. Household budget. Whether it’s weekly or monthly, all families that earn income must ensure that every rand is dedicated accordingly. Get your children involved in this process and give them adequate responsibilities to make every rand go a long way.
2. Chores. Start introducing educational exercises to help your kids appreciate that ‘money doesn’t grow on trees.’ This could be small tasks where they get incentivised upon completion.
3. School trips. Schools often plan trips or learning excursions to places such as the local zoo or museum. While it’s the responsibility of the parents to plan for this financially, there’s no harm in allowing your kids to help in managing the savings kitty for this.
4. Family vacations. Not every family may have the resources to go on a vacation now and then but where possible, parents can task their kids to manage holiday savings, especially if it’s a destination that kids are looking forward to visiting.
“Teaching kids about managing money needs to be a practical exercise instead of a conversation once in a while. This way, the awareness becomes a part of the child’s life and they start adopting the same principles in other areas of their lives,” concludes Ochse.