Most parents want their children to have things they never had. Before you start lavishing them with gifts, though, why not give them something more valuable? Teach them how to be financially responsible, and your children will grow up with a lot more than you’d ever expect.
The Importance Of Financial Responsibility
Are you concerned that your child’s too young to learn about finance?
We understand. You want to protect your child from the stress of the adult world for as long as possible. We’re not suggesting that you start teaching them how the stock market works.
What we’re suggesting is teaching them the value of money. If your child wants the latest Switch game, then make them work for it. Making them save for things they want teaches them patience and shows them that money doesn’t magically appear when they need it.
There is no better gift that you can give your child.
Think back on the times you’ve struggled financially—raise your child to respect the value of money, and they may never be in the same situation.
Teaching your children sound money management principles needn’t be stressful. Set up little challenges for them to make do with what they have at home. Let them find ways to have fun that don’t involve money.
The upside is that you’re raising a child that’s not spoiled or entitled. They can take those excellent money management skills forward with them in life. When they have a family of their own, they’ll be able to pass on the information.
Starting as young as possible ingrains good behavior into your child. By the time they start their first job, they will already be ahead of the curve as far as self-discipline and wealth management is concerned.
Tips And Ideas For Your Child To Better Understand The Value Of A Dollar
With younger children, you can start by taking them to the grocery store with you. When they’re able, ask them to help you compare prices. Let them make some of the decisions about what you buy and what you leave behind.
Be sure that each child has a piggy bank or bank account. Encourage them to save by matching deposits to some degree. The child will quickly learn that saving brings rewards, too.
As children get older, make them work for that special toy or another item they’ve been hoping to acquire. As a parent, your job is to provide food, a home, and education. You don’t have to buy everything for them.
Assign chores to each child in keeping with their age. If they fail to complete the tasks, deduct money from the allowance. Give them the chance to earn extra cash by offering chores over and above the normal quota.
They can choose whether to do the non-essential chores. It helps them to better understand that sacrifice can be rewarding.
For kids on the verge of going to college, give more practical advice. Teach them about annually reviewing service contracts, and set them tasks, like having them compare electricity providers rates to find the best deals in the area.
They’ll no doubt be surprised that service providers differ so much when it comes to things like electric rates and insurance.
Finally, let them make their own mistakes—this one is difficult. If your son wants to blow his allowance on candy, let him. Then let him see the consequences of wasting all the money at once.
You’re not going to give him a top-up on his allowance. If you do offer him an advance, strict lending criteria and interest must apply.
Last, But Not Least: Teaching The Importance Of Gratitude
The most important financial lesson is to teach your children to be grateful for what they have. Buddhists believe that the desire for material things causes discontent, and they might have a point. How many times have you tied yourself in knots because you can’t afford the things that you want?
While teaching your kids money-saving tips, be sure also to teach them about gratitude. Every night, have your child recite five things that they’re grateful for and encourage them to be specific.
The exercise helps them keep things in perspective, shifting their focus. When they’re old enough, give them a journal to write these items down daily. Let them review it once or twice a year for a clear idea of how much they already have in their lives.
There’s always going to be something, but it’s never too late to learn to be content.
Another way to build gratitude is to show your children that there are people struggling around them. Seeing another child who can’t afford shoes can put things into perspective.
If they notice the suffering in the world from an early age, they’ll become more empathetic adults. You can let them come up with effective ways to make a difference. They might decide to donate their allowance or volunteer. Let them.
If more of us were grateful, the world would be in far better shape.