When is too young to start talking to kids about the value of money? The answer? There’s no such thing as too young! Talking about value and working to earn can start as early as you like. From the age of about five children are beginning to develop the neurological pathways necessary for them to understand basic concepts about money.
Here are some practical tips that you can apply in your own home.
What’s it all about?
Learning about money doesn’t just mean coins and notes (or bank accounts). It means understanding things like:
- What value means and what types of things are valuable
- The importance of not always getting what you want straight away
- Gratitude and thankfulness
All of these concepts are awesome things to teach kids and there’s no time better than the present.
Encourage your child to begin work. Not as a ‘child labour’ workaround, rather just simple chores and actions around the house that can result in a small allowance. Extra chores could mean extra money (to be negotiated, of course). Let the money begin to pile up before they can spend it so they can see the fruits of their labour laid out before them. This can be aspirational and they may be self-motivated to earn (and therefore save) more – making it easy to attach the value of money to the time and effort required to earn it.
Your child will be learning maths and money lessons at school. You can transfer that into the home by having charts, putting price tags on objects (or taking photos of them at the shops) and working together to assess how much money is needed for a desired outcome or object.
Let your child see how money works. Go to the ATM. Show them your bank balance. Take them into a bank. Introduce them to the world of finance to teach them the value of money to hammer in the lesson that it really does NOT grow on trees.
Digital money for kids
Set them up a Spriggy account so they can have a digital money experience of their own. Spriggy is great because it allows children ages 6-17 years to track their spending in addition to setting up savings goals.
You can send them scheduled pocket money just like a real world ‘wage’, plus you can set up additional jobs to incentivise them to earn even more. It’s built for families so it’s really safe, easy to use and even has things like real-time spend notifications to the parent app if you’d like to keep an eye on your kids spending decisions.
We use Spriggy and have found that it encourages our children to save money, it offers convenience and helps to teach independence. You can read our Spriggy app review here.
Look through toy and book catalogues and circle desired objects together. How much are they worth? How much does your child already have? How much more do they need to purchase this object?
Some families go 50/50 with their child for big purchases. If your child is desperate for something and it will take a long time to earn the full amount, set a goal of 50% and promise them that you’ll pay the remainder. It’s a great way to work together towards a common goal. Seeing their toy of choice finally in the house will be a lasting lesson and a great one in terms of teaching kids the value of money.
Let your child make some money mistakes. If they want to spend their cash on something you know to be pretty worthless or cheap, explain your concerns but let them spend the money anyway. When it inevitably breaks, allow them to be disappointed and then talk about how you can make wiser choices next time.
Talk about quality, workmanship and worth. Let kids understand the difference between something flashy and cheap and something that will last.
Teach Kids the Value of Money
It’s disingenuous of us to say that our kids aren’t grateful and just take, take, take if we never teach them any different. Allowing children to understand how money works means giving them financial literacy that will put them in good stead for their adult lives.
Want more money? Here are some great tips on how to save money on your grocery bills!
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