Tuesday 12nd Jan 2021
As families spend more time at home during the third UK lockdown, you may find yourself balancing working life with ‘playing teacher’. However, now might be the perfect time to teach your youngsters about financial responsibility.
Understanding the value of money and how to manage your cash will be a critical skill for your offspring once they fly the nest and that’s when the prior knowledge of saving, spending and sharing comes into its own.
So, if you’re looking into how you can make cashflow control a little more ‘entertaining’ for your children, we’ve got four tips to help. But, be warned… there may be homework!
Set savings challenges
We’ve all heard the saying, ‘money doesn’t grow on trees’ (most likely from our own parents) but knowing where it does come from is a vital step towards financial responsibility.
For older children, you can both agree savings goals that they want to achieve weekly, monthly or annually. Giving them the tools to understand how they can save a percentage of their pocket money – or pay packet – means they’re working towards something achievable, and it’ll give them a sense of pride when they get to their desired total.
For younger children, get creative and decorate spending, saving and sharing jars together. They can then use these and add real/toy money to them when they complete fun challenges.
Shop for groceries together
In the current climate, this is of course more difficult. But, when we’re experiencing more ‘normality’, a trip to the supermarket not only helps them to learn more about what they eat – and where it comes from – but also how much it costs.
When you make your shopping list, get your toddler to do the same. You can also create colourful labels with the names of fruit and veg and then challenge them to find the items, and point out the price. For teenagers, agree on a recipe you’d like to cook together, get the ingredients and work out how much each portion costs per person.
Encourage their entrepreneurial side
We’re seeing more media stories of young business leaders channelling their innovative side and selling products for a profit. If you have a budding entrepreneur in your family, help them to create a business plan where they can map out costs and ‘know their numbers’ – from understanding marketing budgets to managing cashflow.
Start a savings account
Opening an ISA for your youngster means they’ll not only have a brilliant start to their financial future, but when they’re older they can choose whether they want to keep topping it up or take out the cash to spend on something they’ve worked towards such as their first house or car.
Look into children’s debit cards and useful budgeting apps too, so you’re helping your child save, spend and share.