ad // Money is a topic that’s been severely neglected in our schools curriculums for long enough. It’s one of the most important aspects of our lives – everything revolves around money – yet we’re not giving children the same knowledge and information that we’re giving them about Jack the Ripper for example.
I know from my own experience, I learned much more about Jack the Ripper and the themes behind The Lord of the Flies than I ever did about any sort of real topics that were going to help me once I left school.
I was not equipped whatsoever with knowledge around money when I left school.
I didn’t understand the importance of saving. When I got my first job, I spent almost every penny I earned, on clothes, make-up, alcohol and going out with my friends.
I had no concept of money, it’s worth and most definitely, it’s importance.
These days, I think the tide is shifting slightly. I’m 30 now and I don’t know what the situation is in schools these days but I do know that our generation are much more on our toes about money, not only the importance of money but also being honest and open about it in general.
Which I think is a really good thing.
So let’s look at a few easy ways that we can teach children the importance of money. I haven’t given any ages here, I definitely think that’s up to the parents discretion as to when they feel the time is right for their child.
6 ways to teach children the importance of money:
Consider your own relationship with money
Children pick up cues and signals from their parents from such a young age and the habits you have around money may be rubbing off on them earlier than you think. If you’re irresponsible with money, chances are they’ve picked up on that.
If you’re constantly arguing with your partner about money, then it might come across as money being a bad thing, because it’s always causing conflict. Consider your own money habits and relationship with money and see how you can change this more positively.
Give them pocket money
By giving them pocket money, it establishes this idea of having your own money and saving it. You can allow them to “top up” the pocket money by doing chores around the house or something similar, which will also allow them understand the idea of earning.
Show them some free money games
Money games online are a super easy way to teach children about money in a more fun way. There are plenty of free money games that they can try, all with different aims and objectives to learn about the different aspects of money and making money.
Here are a few money games that I’ve tried that I think would be good options to start with (listed in order of screenshots):
- Cashback: This game allows children to stimulate giving the right amount of change to customers buying items, allows them to better understand the different types of money and their worth
- Cooking Fever: I’ve always found these games really fun and love that they test your timing as well. Another great game for children to learn about serving customers
- TrezeCoins: Another game that gives children the chance to work with coins and their value. You could adapt this game and take real life examples in your home that match the amount shown on screen
Allow them to get familiar with money
Hiding the fact that money exists isn’t going to help anyone, so from an appropriate age, make them familiar with money and what it’s purpose is. For example, when out shopping, get them to hand the money over to the cashier, so they begin to understand transactions.
Get them a clear money box
A clear money box is a better alternative that one that you can’t see into because this doesn’t hide the illusion of saving. When they can see the coins in the money box adding up, they’ll start to understand the importance of that.
Talk to them about money
When the occasion arises, talk to them about money. Ask them questions, such as “how does it feel to have your own money?” and perhaps ask them something they want to buy with their pocket money.
If their pocket money won’t stretch to pay for this thing they want, then you have the chance to talk to them about savings and how much they will need to earn still until they can pay for it. You can even make progress charts to help with their savings.
Money is so important but it doesn’t have to be the scary thing it’s always made out to be.
Of course we all have different situations when it comes to money and that’s also another important thing to teach children as well, that not everyone has the same amount of money.
But I do truly think we would all be better off in this climate if we were all a bit more open about money – and that starts with children!