HEALTHY MONEY HABITS

In an increasingly online world it’s no surprise that money appears to be invisible to our little ones. In a ‘tap and go’ society of online orders, online bill payments and online banking, it is a rare occasion for kids to physically see, touch and feel notes and coins, let alone see transactions take place.

As parents we want our kids to acquire smart money skills, learn to understand the value of a dollar and the rewards associated with saving. Kids are naturally curious about money and with a little understanding you can build a solid framework for what will become the basis for heathy money habits to be fostered into adulthood.

1.    GIVE KIDS SOMETHING TO WORK WITH. The best way to teach your child about money is to give them some of their own. Create earning opportunities for kids to receive a set amount of pocket money on a weekly basis. Schedule a day for your child to receive their funds (notes or coins are better than an internet transfer) and discuss boundaries regarding what their pocket money is to be spent on.

2.    START MONEY TALK. As adults, money is a huge part of our daily lives. In fact, rarely a day goes by that we don’t use money in some way. Start having age appropriate conversations with your children when you are using or accessing money, for example when paying for petrol, at the ATM or when you are going to work. By explaining the interactions we have with money as adults and the processes of saving and spending, you are helping your child grasp a better understanding of the value of money.

3.    MONEY GOALS. Help kids form healthy saving habits by showing them how to work towards a saving goal. Work out with your child what they would like to use their pocket money to save for. Perhaps a new toy, book, movie outing, theme park tickets or clothing. Start small and work towards larger items to offer regular rewards for saving efforts. Celebrate with your child when they reach a saving goal to incentivise future saving skills. A money diary is also a great way for kids to visualise where their earnings are going and how long it will take to reach saving goals.

4.    BANK SMARTER. If you haven’t already, open a bank account in your child’s name and explain to them the benefits of keeping savings with a bank. Take your child to their branch to deposit their savings and talk them through the updated balance so they understand how their funds are growing.

5.    RAISE FUNDS TOGETHER. Fundraising is a great way to show kids that money isn’t just a means to get something for themselves. By raising money for a greater good, kids can develop an understanding of how money can be used to create better opportunities for others. It’s also a great way to further illustrate how many small monetary contributions can add up to a significant amount. A Fun Run is an easy for kids to contribute to big earnings for their school with prize incentives along the way too.

Chanelle Shibata