Teaching Kids about Money
It is difficult to manage on a tight budget but whilst doing so you can take solace that you are probably teaching skills to your kids that will be valuable for the rest of their lives.
Helping them to distinguish between a “want” and a “need”. Understanding they can’t have everything that they want (even if it’s affordable). But what are the best ways to teach your kids about financial priorities? One of the best places to teach children about money is a shop.
Being able to handle money and buy something yourself builds a child’s confidence. Children as young as three or four can have their own coins to handle, spend and save. If, for example, they want to spend that money on sweeties, then make it clear they can’t spend the money on something else. Let them make choices, and experience the consequences. Paying by card is quick and convenient but doesn’t show young children how money works, so explain that although you are not using coins, the money is still coming out of your bank account – and discuss the things you buy.
Helping your children to master estimating is also very important, helping children to develop a real feel for numbers so that they can easily spot when they’re being overcharged and avoid making costly mistakes. At home, a picture book on the subject can get the discussion going. There are also lots of free online resources you can use; www.Valuesmoneyandme.co.uk offers free online books and interactive quizzes aimed at primary school aged children. natwest.mymoneysense.com is great for free online money games, or if you prefer board games try Money Match Cafe or Pop to the Shops by Orchard Toys. Finally, do not underestimate the value of playing games such as “going to the shops” at home with real coins. Be sure to set a budget. Don’t forget to talk to your children about everyday costs that may be hidden – such as the fact heating, electricity and water are not free – and involving children in attempts to save money. For example, you could challenge them to help you do a “no spend” day or make a recipe from the Love Food, Hate Waste website, using only ingredients you have in the cupboard.
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