Teaching your child the value of money


In an age where so much is carried out, automatically, invisibly, electronically, it is more important than ever for your child to understand the value of money. We can go weeks without actually handling physical cash, paying for our shopping online or by card at the checkpoint and ordering everything from our holidays to our child’s school uniform from the comfort of our iPad without ever leaving our homes. Trying to explain that these items don’t magically appear because we ask them to, that there was an actual financial transaction in the middle somewhere can be a little bit confusing for children.

How do you make a child accountable and enable them to grow up to handle money responsibly? Personally, I think the younger you introduce them to money and give them a sense of responsibility, the better. I don’t expect you to set your 2 year old chores to sweep the kitchen or wash the car, there are small, fun steps you can take to introduce the value of money into their lives.

Money boxes
Getting your child a money box even before they are able to earn pocket money is never a bad decision! Let them get the change from your shopping on the odd chance you use cash (maybe a trip to the market?) and also think about giving them any birthday money they receive. When they have been exceptionally well behaved or they want a special item, you can let them use their own money to buy it. If they don’t have enough, they will learn a precious lesson on patience and saving, or more often than not, a lesson on ways to coax you into paying out the difference; that’s fine, the art of negotiation is also a fine skill!

Shopping Role Play
Children learn through ‘doing’ which is what makes role play so fun! Everywhere you look there are realistic tills, play food, mini shopping trolleys etc. If you don’t own any of these items, why not use some real household items for your shop? Take it in turns to be the customer and the shopping assistant, you can be in the market and haggle or in a shop and have proper fixed prices. It is great to remind children that there are actual transactions taking place and that you have to PAY to get your goods!

 Shop!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Use cash! Take kids to the shops and let them see you making transactions, especially when you are using the precious pounds they have saved up themselves in their own piggy banks, give them a chance to make the connection between what they have saved and the transaction that takes place in order for them to get their sweets / toys / books.

These are my tips, do you have any more? How do you teach your own children about money and finances?

Circus Mum