Teaching your children financial skills at an early age is equally important as teaching them ABC’s and 123’s. Most parents believe that their children are being taught personal money matters in school. Yet in reality, both high school and college students say that whatever the know about money they learn from their parents. So if the parents are as they say in the vernacular, “bulagsak,” (careless money spender) then most likely, the child will also be the same.
Not sure where to start in talking to your kids about money? You’re not alone. But, much like teaching your kids to look both ways before crossing the street, managing money, is a parental responsibility that safeguards kids’ future. Good habits start early in life and the savings habit brings lifelong benefits. Kids usually learn by means of a good example. Sharing how and why your family is saving emphasizes the importance of this positive, lifelong habit.
Engage your children using some of these simple, fun suggestions and help them learn the value of money:
Explain to your child what money is all about
You can start doing this once you see that your kids are already able to learn how to count. The earlier you can teach a child or teenager about money, including earning money, saving money, and spending money responsibility, the better prepared they will be to manage their own finances someday.
Talk to your child about the family budget
Allow your child to ask questions about household finances and how you manage the household budget. Reinforce the learning process by budgeting for a family outing or a purchase. It is also good to tag along your kid to groceries when buying your household needs and supplies.
Encourage your kid to start saving by opening a savings account for them
If they are younger, you can still make savings “real” to them by having them build their savings in a piggy bank or a clear jar. You can motivate them to allot a portion of their allowance to their savings. If you have multiple children, one way to keep them motivated is by giving a prize to whoever earned the highest amount in their savings.
Explaining the value of spending money can also be done at home
You can assign some household chores and pay a small amount once they were able to do it. This will help them realize that money is not earned easily and should be spent wisely.
Show your kids how an ATM machine works
Kidzania Manila has its own BPI ATM machine built specifically for the kids who will come and visit Kidzania. It even shells out its own currency called Kidzos. You may bring your kids there if they’re 14 years old and below. While many kids know that money doesn’t grow on trees, they may think it comes out of a wall. Help your kids understand the you must put the money in the bank before you can take it out.
When you discuss money with your kids, you help them develop a sense of limits. You’re teaching kids that the family has to make choices about how it can spend money. There’s only so much money to go around–if you spend it on some things, you won’t have it to spend on others.
Teaching your children about saving money doesn’t have to be a difficult task. Remember to be patient and consistent, and your children will be able to learn this critical skill in an easy and fun way.