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Parenting: teaching the value of money

7th March 2020

As parents, we know how much of an influence we are on our children. When they’re very little they easily pick up our phrases and repeat them, and as they get older we can often see our own mannerisms reflected at us. 


It’s important that we use this knowledge to raise our children properly and educate them about money. You might be working hard to provide a good lifestyle for your children, and might have savings accounts or junior stocks and shares (more information here). You want to know that they will use this money well, when the time comes. So, how can you teach children the value of money?


Show them

It’s important for children to see money and be aware of the cost of things from a young age. If they understand how much items are worth (like their toys, for example) they will treat them with more respect. It’s also good for them to understand how much things cost in the home – like running water. By encouraging them to turn off taps and think in an economical and environmentally friendly way, they will grow up to be sensible, money-savvy adults. 


A clear savings jar 

Teaching children to save money is always useful. If they have a piggy bank or savings jar where they’re collecting pennies, you can then buy them something with what they have saved and they therefore see the benefits of being sensible with money. A clear savings jar is better than a piggy bank because they can physically see the money collecting, and get a better sense of their goal. Plus, they’ll feel bad if they take money out, because the jar will be empty.  


Allowances and chores

Another good way to teach children the value of money is by giving them a monthly allowance. This will teach them to be wise with their money and not spend it all at once – or else they won’t have anything for the rest of the month. You might also want to encourage them to do chores, like tidy their room, and give them a financial reward. This teaches them that working hard pays off. Whatever method you choose, make sure you have some level of flexibility and don’t go too hard on your children if they don’t spend their money wisely. They’re still learning, after all. 


An after-school job

Some parents also like to encourage their teenagers to earn their own money by getting an after-school job, like babysitting or a paper round. This can be great for some, as it teaches them a great deal of responsibility whilst also getting them out of the house and meeting new people. However, it’s important to not make your children feel as though they have to get a job. With homework, social struggles and the general pressures of growing up, life can be stressful for children and teenagers, and adding an after-school job could be one stress too many.


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