Do you teach your kids about money?

Money does not grow on trees, our parents cautioned, and like the obedient children we were, we listened—well, mostly. 

From the amount of "I wants...!" sounding off in stores these days, I'm guessing the kids have not gotten the same memo. 

Do you talk to your children about money? Probably not as often as necessary. 

And yet, wanting to keep them informed without burdening them with concerns about money can be a fine line to tread. 

Teaching kids about money is a multifaceted undertaking, with it comes lessons on responsibility, setting goals, and making decisions. 

“Financial education begins in the home and the earlier on in life individuals become money-wise, the better,” says Vuyo Mpako, Head of Digital Channels and eCommerce at Standard Bank

Nothing beats taking from real life examples to teach them important lessons. 

Check out our list of the occasions when talking about money is a must. 

Drafting the monthly budget

Going through the monthly budget can be an excellent way of giving your kids an overview of income and expenses, strengthening their concept of money. Be extra cautious though not to mention financial struggles or frustrations. Stick to the basics. 

At an ATM

Do you remember your first encounter with the ATM machine as a child? After pushing a few buttons, our parents made cash appear out of thin air, right? This is the perfect time to talk to your kids about earning a living and making decisions on spending.

Be sure not to leave out an explanation on how this nifty contraption really works. 

When paying the bills

Definitely not something we normally do with our children present, but giving them an idea of where money goes and why could not be more beneficial in getting them to understand the value of money, how saving in the present means doing fun things in the future, and that paying the bills is an ongoing responsibility for all adults. 

This is also a great time to clue them up on how they can help with saving non-monetary essentials like electricity and water. 

At the shops 

It may seem like an obvious time, but with a packed store and a long list of items to get to, the thought of fitting in a conversation on budgeting might be at the very bottom of your to-do list.

But what better time to introduce the idea of pricing, especially when requests for treats start rolling in. Turn it into a game by asking them to find the best prices for the items on your shopping list. 

Here, you could also establish the difference between a necessity and a want. 

When seeking insurance coverage

Clue them up on the how you include insurance costs in your monthly budget, and that even though initially it may be expensive, it can be an incredible money saver in the long run. 

When providing their pocket money 

If you're giving them a certain amount of money every month, you also need to give them guidelines, specifying what your child can and cannot do with their money is one way of doing this, suggesting that they save or donate a certain percentage is another example. 

Introduce age appropriate books and apps they could use to manage their money. 

When gifted with money 

Receiving money on a birthday or holiday is the perfect time to introduce the idea of saving. By discussing why it is important, along with the different ways they could save, you instill invaluable lessons for their future. 

When paying debt

Don't forget keeping it basic is key, a general run through of what debt is and how it works is all you need to inform them about for now. 

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Do you think it appropriate to teach kids about money? Share your stories, tips and experiences by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish. 

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