Although there are naturally some differences as to when the right time to teach your kids about the value of money is, what all parents agree on is that it is indeed important for children to be actively taught about the value of money. First-time parents naturally have what is essentially a new world to navigate in imparting important money-related lessons to their kids, while those parents who have more than one child are perhaps at a slight advantage because the way in which each of their children goes on to implement those lessons can be used as a good reference point for the other kids.
According to a survey conducted by prepaid card service provider icount, more than 40% of the parents who participated think children should start learning about the value of money in the 5-7 year-old age bracket. Making the lesson you teach your kids about the value of money a practical one however is generally dictated to by your own set of circumstances. While most parents do indeed feel that the age group of between 5-7 years is the best age for children to start learning about the value of money, if your particular child showed an interest in money prior to that age bracket, then their eagerness to learn should definitely be capitalised on. The best way a child learns, or even an adult for that matter, is if they’re genuinely interested in the fundamentals of the topic. The younger children are however, the more eager they are to lean about anything life has in store for them, so if you can start them as early as possible, then that’d be ideal. Add a real-life practical setting to the mix and your job is pretty much done, like many of the great ideas parents came up with themselves as part of their participation in the icount survey. The various dynamics surrounding the giving and use of pocket money emerged as the most preferred of these methods for teaching kids about the value of money, which is indeed a rather informed view because how much more practical can you get than using real money in the real world?
If the imparted lesson doesn’t feel like a lesson at all, even better, but if your child is all out of pocket money a couple of days or more before their next allowance is due, then that presents a great opportunity to step in and perhaps discuss some suggestions which could help them better handle their money. If on the other hand your child seems to be doing well all by themselves, this also presents the perfect opportunity for you to solidify the lessons learned and make them a bit more conscious about their natural flair for handling money and understanding its value.
As long as everything mirrors how money works in the real world, you really can get creative with the way in which you present certain lessons, such as allowing kids to perhaps earn a bit more pocket money for completing extra chores, or even getting a real part-time job, depending on their age of course. They could get the option of putting some of their money away in a savings account and perhaps earn some interest as a lesson in longer-term investments yielding smaller returns, etc.