When my children were little I used to think one of the biggest challenges was determining when was the right time to do things. When do I try solids, when do I potty train, when do I put him into his first bed? There were so many ifs, buts and whens, not to mention the endless stream of advice and hours spent discussing the options with other like-minded mums, on the whole it could be maddening not to mention exhausting!
Thankfully as children grow and learn to articulate themselves much of the guesswork is removed, however it’s these early ‘informative’ years, which can prove to be so vital, particularly when it comes to developing good habits, which children will carry through life.
When it comes to teaching children about money the same is true, in fact recent research by the Money Advice service suggests that children need to start learning about money from the age of seven. This might seem mind boggling but helping young children to learn simple concepts such as what things cost and that we need to earn money, are the foundations of a healthy ongoing relationship with finance.
Obviously it’s important to adapt your teachings to the age of the child, it’s no surprise that a 3 year old won’t pick up the same concepts as a 16 year old but when it comes to financial education, consistency is key.
To help you get your little ones started here are a few tips to help introduce this all important topic in a fun and engaging way.
It’s a common misconception that money needs to be a scary and daunting topic amongst parents and their young children, so why not try and introduce it in a manner that is fun and entertaining!
You can encourage very small children to save spare change in a jar which will help them to visualise how many pennies they need to buy a particular item (i.e. a sweet treat would require only a few coins while a new toy would sacrifice half the jar).
Also get them to handle coins and notes, help them to make piles out of the coins and start to build in the notion of value, particularly that the size of the coin doesn’t necessarily equate to its value.
At ages 5-10 there’s no doubt that your children will be becoming more aware of the financial world around them - they will have their parent’s at the ATM’s, watched you purchase the weekly shop and observed you taking money out of your wallet or purse, so it’s the perfect time to introduce them to their very own financial decisions.
If you are treating your child in the corner shop give them a pound coin and let them choose the best deal – whether it’s two packs of sweets or a buy one get one free offer – this technique will allow them to gain first hand an insight into how to get the best deal using their pocket money.
- Money is something we're certainly starting to introduce to Darcie and couldn't agree more with Vanessa's points about the importance of imbedding good habits at an early age. We will certainly be trying out a few of these tips!
Mummy B xoxox