If I had a dollar for every time I have been asked by a parent what to tell your kids about money, Id be a millionaire. There are many different aspects of money management you can & should tell your children about. Here I will share with you what I believe are seven of the most important principles
1. Money can be exchanged for goods or services.
This is one of the first few lessons you should teach your child once they are old enough to understand usually around the age of 3 years. Next time you go down to the corner store to buy one or two items, let your child hand the money to the cashier. By doing so, they will gain a greater appreciation of the concept of being able to exchange money for things you want or need.
2. One should be careful with money.
Some people I know, seem to think that any coins with a value under 50 cents are just too small to be bothered using, and so when cleaning out their loose change from around the house will simply throw these smaller coins in the bin. What a waste! Encourage your child to be careful with all denominations of money, and show them how those small coins can add up, by starting a family small coins box. Maybe you could use the money to fund small family outings (a trip to the shop to get ice creams).
3. Money has to be earned.
There are many people in the world these days that dont seem to have ever learned this lesson. They sit around home and expect handouts so they can live, or turn to a life of crime to fund their existence. Be careful not to give your child money every time he or she asks, without expecting anything in return i.e. completion of household chores.
4. Encourage one-third savings, one-third donations, one-third spending.
The exact proportions in which your child divides their money are up to each individual family to decide, based on their beliefs and the needs of the child. This can quite easily be achieved by providing them with 3 piggy banks or moneyboxes one for spending, one for saving & one for donating.
5. Avoid borrowing money wherever possible.
It is always much harder to repay money that has been borrowed, than to save your money. Some loans, such as home loans, tend to be unavoidable though. A good rule of thumb is if you dont have the cash to buy it, you cant afford it!
6. Money isnt your best friend so dont let it control your life.
Quite simply, try not to become so over committed with your finances, that you are forced to work 60 to 70 hours a week to continue the lifestyle. If you do, then you are letting the money control your life. You dont usually need the fancy car (and car loan) or overseas holiday (and personal loan). All these things are nice, but only if you can easily afford them!
7. Show them how to budget & live within their means
This is one of the most important skills that your child must know, that so many people dont seem to know how to do. Recent surveys have shown, that many people are spending 10% to 20% above what they earn. They are earning enough money to fund their lifestyle, but they simply arent budgeting it, and so are wasting large amounts of money each week.
With these seven lessons under their belt, they will be off to a great start, but there are many more money skills that your child will benefit enormously from learning. To learn more, visit the Kids Money Tips web site.