Teaching children the value of money is something that most parents deem as important, but what are the best ways to do it? In the world we live in, it can be a constant struggle to teach your children the value of money, and make them aware of the fact that cash doesn’t grow on trees, and if you don’t plan how you spend it, then it’ll go as quickly as it comes! First of all, I think it’s really important that when going through this process, you allow your children to make a few mistakes. If they happen to spend all their money without thinking about it, carefully advise them so next time they can avoid making the same mistake.
I’ve put in a few ideas below that should really help you get on your way. The trick is in making sure that the effort is put in regularly, and that a routine is established early on. Hopefully these ideas will help you out a little bit!
Set A Regular Amount of Money
The first thing you need to do is set a regular amount of money to give your child every month. Try to avoid drip feeding little bits of cash here and there, as that will only confuse things when it comes to helping them budget and plan their spending. When working out how much pocket money you should be giving, try to take into account what they will need or want to spend money on. It’s almost as if you have to budget the amount first! With a regular amount of pocket money each month, you can then begin to help them plan their spending.
Draw Up A Chart
Visualising their spending is a great way of helping your children understand comparing what’s coming in, to what’s coming out. You probably don’t want to start constructing full on spreadsheets for them; so make it fun and start by creating a cool looking chart detailing their monthly expenditure. When dividing up their spending, consider allocating a certain amount of money to different areas such as sweets, bus fares, computer games or anything else that they usually spend money on.
It might also be a good idea to allocate a certain amount of money to a saving fund, so they can start thinking about collecting money for something a little bit special like a new DVD. Once you’ve created your chart and agreed on the expenditure, try to get them to keep on top of it by tracking what they spend. You could always offer them a small incentive at the end of each month for sticking to their goals.
Keep it Fun
Remember that this isn’t about punishing mistakes, it’s all about making budgeting and planning money fun! If you can be creative in the way that you do this, then the results are going to be far better. Allow mistakes to happen, but always be on hand to offer advice and help your children learn for next time! Incentives and encouragement will go a long way!
About the Author: Jenny Quinn works for Pink Heaven, specialising in partyware and a range of gifts for girls.