The Church of England have recently proposed creating “savings clubs” in schools to teach children the value of money & how to save.
A pilot scheme is being set up in 6 schools which will run for 9 months before being rolled out across the country.
The clubs will help children to regularly save small amounts of money as well as giving them some responsibility in running the club.
Research currently suggests that children pick up their financial habits from their parents, which is fine as long as they are responsible & good savers. But in a country where talking about money is just not done it can be hard for parents to know themselves how good they are when it comes to their finances.
Teaching children to be aware of money, how it is earned & what it is used for is essential to help prepare them for life in the real world.
It is best to start young even if, like I have with my own son, you start by explaining why you go to work.
I have told him that “Mummy & Daddy go to work in order to earn money. We need money to pay for our house, our food & clothes.”
This seems to have sunk in & it is something we remind of when he complains that he misses us when we are at work or doesn’t want us to go.
A great time to talk about money might be after a special occasion when children are gifted some.
You could also explain about saving money when they request an expensive toy.
It’s a good opportunity to look at the cost, how much they have already & how much they need to be able to purchase the toy.
I can remember my mum having to explain to my brother about where money comes from when on a visit to Toys R Us when we were little. His eyes lit up & he started to ask for lots of toys. When my mum told him she couldn’t afford them all he told her to use her “magic card”. At that point my mum sat him down to explain that in order to use the “magic card” she & dad needed to have money in the bank. This money was limited & wasn’t just for buying toys.
At this point my brother learnt about Want vs Need another important lesson to teach children.
Once children are at an age where they receive pocket money it can be difficult as a parent not to try & control what they spend it on.
It can be an important lesson for children to be allowed to make mistakes in what they choose to spend their money on as this will help to teach them a valuable lesson in thinking before they buy.
Allowing a child to feel the disappointment of making a mistake will mean the lesson will endure far longer than being told not to do something. Lets face it, telling a child not to do something only ever creates curiosity!
As any parent will know leading by example is also a good foundation for teaching children valuable lessons & (as said above) research agrees.
Being responsible with money is important not only to show your children how to treat it but to also provide a stable home & family environment as well.