The ability to manage finances is not something that is known naturally; it must be taught to us as we go through life. From understanding the value of money, to knowing when to save or spend, it’s certainly a valuable life skill.
However, the way in which financial literacy is taught in schools around the world varies massively, often meaning young people grow up with limited understanding of how to manage their money.
To mark International Day of Remittances (16 June), which aims to improve access and understanding of remittances worldwide, experts at global cross border payments company, WorldRemit, have curated advice on how to give children an understanding and appreciation of money.
- Talk money
As a parent, it may seem natural to not discuss finances around children. Instead, try to involve them in conversations about everyday expenses such as food shops and transport. Giving them exposure to these conversations in their everyday life will allow them to understand the essential things that need to be bought before they can have games and clothes, helping to build an appreciation of money and budgeting from an early age.
- Introduce money during playtime
When your children reach an age where they begin to understand numbers, starting to show them physical money can be beneficial. Teach them to count cash and understand it at its most basic level. Games such as Monopoly or playing cashier are perfect for this and makes showing them the value of money an enjoyable yet educational experience.
- Start budgeting
Once your kids are at an age that they are earning pocket money, you can teach them how to budget. Doing this visually works best and can show them how much money they’re getting and where they need to spend it. Creating a very basic budget with your children will teach them that they can’t just spend all their money on treats, and that it needs to last until their next instalment of pocket money.
- Start saving
Not everything can be bought from your paycheck, and kids need to learn that expensive items must be saved for. Start a savings account for them, whether that’s a piggy bank or an actual bank account, to give them somewhere to put money aside and give them sight of this once they’re old enough to understand. Not only will they be able to save for a new bike or video games, but they will also learn discipline and the reward of goal setting.
- Spending responsibly
Now they know the value of money, how hard they have to work for it, and what they need to use it for, you can let them spend it with set limits. It can be easy to go too far and make money feel like something that isn’t to be enjoyed, so it’s important to show the joy that can come with buying their favourite toy or sweet treat. Your children will finally feel the reward of treating themselves to something new, whilst being careful not to overspend and appreciating where the money has come from.
A spokesperson for World Remit commented: “It’s easy to get caught up in the many lessons and subjects our children are taught at school and forget some of the fundamentals of being an adult. At WorldRemit, we are passionate about educating everyone, adults and children alike, about how to use money wisely.”