You may spend a fair amount of your time finding ways to get the best value for money on purchases or how to most effectively save for the future. Buckscoop’s blog is certainly a great resource for this exact kind of information. Yet, whilst saving for the future is a fantastic habit for any person, its also very important to pass this knowledge on to your children. The Buckscoop blog is full of saving tips and tactics yet one area I feel that hasn’t been broached yet is the importance of positively influencing the mindsets of our kids when it comes to money.
Times are continuously changing and prices are always on the increase. As such, I wanted to cover some of the tips which I believe we as adults should be passing onto the next generation. Many families will have their own guidelines and approaches towards money, however I never felt that this subject was ever talked about enough in my own family. Growing up with distinct lack of guidance when it came to learning about saving is precisely why I'd like to share the following money saving tips with you. We all need to understand how money works and there is no better time to learn the hard way than when we’re young and the risks are minimal.
The following tips will look at money saving from both the adults and child’s perspective to aid the teaching process. It is not a complete list but these represent the most poignant tips in my opinion, and the ones that I will certainly be teaching my children.
1.You decide where your money goes
Teaching kids to decide how to split their money is important. Dividing into spending, saving and working amounts helps because it teaches children how to budget. A common practice used globally is giving them an envelope for each and asking them to divide their pocket money weekly to what they feel is right. The concept tells children that if they don’t tell their money where to go, it will go away.
The envelope method is great for younger kids but older children man need a more mature approach. Finding the right method to suit your family can be a fun and mind opening exercise.
2. Don’t spend beyond your means
Our grandparents were brought up in a society where they were taught to look after the pennies and the pounds would look after themselves. Today’s culture is vastly different and it has become common place for people to spend money they do not have so that they can have it right now. Children need to be taught that credit cards are not a feasible way to sustain yourself in life.
The goal is to teach kids to save for the things they really want and utilise parts of the previous budgeting technique to compartmentalise money for this purpose. This basic training tip will develop as kids grow up to hopefully make them understand the process of saving for bigger purchases such as a car or further education.
3. Patience is a virtue
My parents always brought me up to think that waiting for something you really want can actually be more rewarding than receiving it. Sadly these days many children grow up wanting and expecting to receive the items they want immediately. The concept of delayed gratification has slowly died over the past 50 years within western society. I have witnessed children breaking into a tantrum - right in the middle of the store - far too often over the years simply because they cant have what they want. It’s sad in my opinion to see parents give in and bend to the child’s demands just to stop them causing a scene. (I can hear my mothers voice now “If I acted like that towards my mother, I would be dragged out of the store by my ear.”)
4. Don’t spend it all at once
Every decision in life has its consequences and this lesson transcends much further than just with money. It’s difficult to see your kids fail and your natural instinct is to prevent them from doing so, but, its also important for them to learn lessons the hard way. If my parents let me buy half of the things I wanted to when I was a kid with my pocket money I would probably be much more frugal and money wise. I unfortunately learnt the hard way when I was older and with much bigger purchases. My suggestion is that you provide jobs or ways for your kids to earn money around the house and then let them enjoy the freedom to buy whatever they want. The point being that they'll learn about the effects of overspending the hard way whilst purchases are still relatively small and the impacts of their decisions are negligent.
5. Work equals money
I touched on this above, but for me this is the most important rule of all and makes all the other tips useless if this one cannot be learnt. Certain parenting specialists recommend creating a commission scheme for your kids rather than a weekly allowance because it teaches them to earn their money rather than expect it to land in the hand. The best technique I’ve seen is to create a chores chart so that kids can complete their tasks and receive commission for each completion. Its something that’s helps mum and dad out whilst motivating kids to earn more pocket money.
I hope by implementing some of these tips into your children’s lives you can teach them to become more money savvy and better prepared for their futures of earning and (wisely) spending money. I would also really like to hear what helpful methods you use in your household so I may share them with our other Buckscoopers.
Please feel free to let us know in the comments section below.