Saving money is a skill that few have today. Research conducted in Poland proves that our countrymen do not have the asset accumulation gene. At a time when financial disparities between the poorest and richest are growing, and the condition of the pension system does not indicate that in the future we will be able to count on decent pensions, the only recipe to survive is to put a penny for later. It is worth teaching this model to our children.
Man learns his whole life, the most important stage of education lasts about a dozen years: elementary school, junior high school, high school, or possibly studies. In Polish schools, however, there is no such subject as financial education. Many experts agree that in this respect we are growing a generation of ignorant people who will often get into trouble just because of low knowledge about building wealth. They appeal to parents to try to make children aware of saving. Habits developed at a young age will surely pay off one day.
Saving money in children – where to start?
Some time ago we wrote about several methods for saving. It is worth having a look at this TEXT . Today, however, we will focus on how to teach children how to collect money. It is known that the stage of our lives where we absorb the most information is just childhood. We absorb knowledge like sponges, and the habits we develop in ourselves are reflected to a greater or lesser extent. We teach our children many prosaic activities, but most of us do not focus on providing information on topics that will prove crucial in adulthood. For example, it is about managing money, making money and making it aware of the risks, as well as the opportunities they bring.
Be a role model
This is probably one of the most valuable tips. At an early stage, a child watches our every step, learns to behave just like his parents. So let’s make sure to teach him valuable principles governing the world of finance. We are a treasury of knowledge for our children, so let us give them the best example.
Learning through play
It brings many positive effects. In the case of children, it is worth replacing money with e.g. sticky notes and making calculations on them. Let one card have a zloty value. They can be a means of payment during home games. They do not necessarily have to be in the form of a card, but e.g. a coupon, old coin or token. You need to explain the rules to your child. How to use the cards? Let’s have fun so that for cleaning the room, a daughter or son gets two cards from us, which is a kind of payment for doing the work. It teaches you a certain way of thinking, namely that you get a fair salary for a job well done. It also makes you aware that there is nothing for free.
Preferably having the appearance of an animal, maybe the image of a character from a fairy tale that the child loves. It should evoke positive emotions. The little one must understand that saving money is a pleasant and motivating activity. You can also supply your child with tiny containers in which to save saved zlotys. The content of each of them can be used for a different purpose. Thanks to this, our child will learn to manage the accumulated budget in a rational and systemic way.
Learning to save money can have a lot to calculate. Many parents wonder if giving a child pocket money is a good idea. However, you need to think about it. Doubts may arise because a child who receives money for nothing, can become claimable. The solution to this situation is for example rewarding pocket money for completed tasks. Already three-year-old can clean up his room, put toys or help parents in simple household chores. In order not to spoil the child, however, you should not exaggerate with the amount of pocket money. A few zlotys at the beginning is enough. You can increase the amount over time, but you can’t lose control over it. Pocket money is to be symbolic.
Respect for property
Without teaching your child to respect the value of money, or property, never move. We can double and triple, but if our child does not understand how hard work needs to be done to earn money, it will leak through his fingers. However, if he cares about the things that surround them, he will probably also take care of his own finances in adult life, or at least he will understand the dependencies and rules about money. Some kids, especially in old age, can be taught that if they’ve broken something, they should spend some of their saved funds on buying it back. Sometimes, of course, something will be destroyed accidentally, but the child should be aware of the loss and that he must bear some financial consequences.
Even for many adults, realizing the value of money is a very difficult activity. For a child, the concept of budget, expenses or cash is something completely abstract. Despite this, you can try, together with our child, from time to time to analyze home revenues and expenses. Of course, operating on small amounts. Let’s try to do this: in the budget we have, for example, recent purchases, let’s explain to the child that cheese that ate in the morning costs $ 3, so if he throws a zloty into the piggy bank a day, he would have to spend three days on his breakfast. This method works, of course, for small children. If we are talking about elders, we can either expand the budget or start calculating larger expenses. Children must be aware of the costs of everyday life, including their maintenance in terms of payment for food or pleasures, such as toys or entertainment. Being together at the supermarket shopping let us show them the prices of products, try to explain the differences between them and what it results from. Let’s talk, analyze, answer questions in a simple and vivid way.
In the context of pocket money or saved money, let’s convince the child to set up his own notebook, in which he will write how much and how he collected funds. Let him feel that he is controlling the situation. It will be easier for him to understand what is managing a household budget, when you have to bundle each expense and often look for additional finances. Someone once said that beware of small expenses, because a small leak sometimes causes the sinking of a large ship. These are wise words that are worth explaining to our little ones in practice.
Is it worth it
There are many ways to teach children how to save money. In fact, our imagination is the limit. However, we should use common sense and treat educating our children as a pleasure and benefit for them as well as for us. Let’s not get paranoid. Let’s just try to introduce financial elements into even prosaic games or conversations with your son or daughter. Let’s use every opportunity, and if the child asks additional questions, the better.