As you know, I am laser-focused on improving my financial mindset.
So I couldn't help wondering about my childhood. If I had had more help being financially savvy when I was young, maybe I would have avoided past financial mistakes?
Finances in the UK
In 2017, the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) in the UK carried out a survey into the financial lives of adults.
Its conclusions were that '24% of UK adults have little or no confidence in managing their money'. Also 46% of all UK adults reported that they had low knowledge of financial things.
This troubling reading shows clearly that we need to be teaching kids about money. Financial literacy for kids is even more important now the world is beginning to deal with a cashless way of working.
Finances in the US
Over in the US, Americans also continue to struggle to earn and manage money.
So, money management skills for kids are so important now, for their futures.
Only 29% of Americans are considered “financially healthy,” according to a FHN (Financial Health Network) survey of more than 5,000 Americans.
“Financial health enables family stability, education, and upward mobility, not just for individuals today but across future generations,” the FHN says. “Many are dealing with an unhealthy amount of debt, irregular income, and sporadic savings habits.”
Money for kids
Eileen, over at Your Money Sorted also debates this in her article, and points out that children's money mindset is formed by age 7.
So children need to know:
- what money is actually worth
- how it works - how to calculate with money
- how to budget
So how should we teach kids about money?
Here a few creative ideas that I have sourced around the topic of teaching children about money.
They are inspired from UK money bloggers and others - I hope it helps you make a start.
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Money games for kids
1. Play fun counting, role play and money games with little ones
Emma, over at the Money Whisperer recommends playing fun money games with young children.
She reviews four top games, that encourage role play of different situations.
Pop to the shops for example, gives children practise at real life scenarios like going to pay for things at the shops and practise using money.
It also comes as an international version, which has cents as the currency.
2. Play money management games with ages 5-8
Catherine from The Money Panel suggests games develop good money habits.
Monopoly Junior is a great way to teach them about the role of the bank, paying money for tax, giving to the community, receiving income in the form of rent. Also what happens when you can’t pay up!
She has written a fabulous post that details how to pass on good habits about money.
Make a small budget with your kids
Simon has a practical, real life scenario -
'One of the tactics we try and use is giving our 5 year old a set amount of spending money each day when we go on holiday. As he gets used to budgeting, we'll give him a weekly spend budget'.
You can find his blog, penniesforthepiggybank here.
Set up a clear savings jar
What could be more fun than teaching saving skills to children, by physically seeing savings grow inside a clear jar?
Joseph, from The Thrifty Chap, suggests setting up two jars.
Label one as saving and one as spending.
You could also have a jar with Sharing written on it, if you wanted to introduce spreading financial love to loved ones or charity.
His blog is full of fab money saving ideas generally. You can find it here.
Savvyinsomerset has a complete post which fully explains how you to set up a piggy bank. It's full of suggestions for conversations you can have and how to record saving and spending.
Her blog is definitely worth a look for a wide range of tips on saving and personal finance. She offers practical, easy solutions.
Here's a cute piggy bank you could use for this activity.
Memorable, visual money examples for kids
Faith, over at Much More With Less, suggest using visual examples, such as using chocolate.
She says, 'When my daughter and I were in a supermarket, we had a look at all the different versions of Cadbury's Caramel. We looked to see which version gave her the most for her money. It really made her think about where to spend her limited pocket money.'
You can find her full post here. The conversation she had with her daughter really highlighted what we can teach through decision making in a real life situations.
Talk about financial needs and wants with your kids
Faith also suggests talking regularly with children about financial needs and wants. It is important your kids know what the differences are and how this impacts on their lives.
Check out the article here - it contains suggestions for conversation starters, which is mega useful and will save you a lot of time.
Jennifer, at My Mummy's Pennies comments:
'My 11 year old loves cooking, so we encourage him to plan out menus and budget the shopping costs for ingredients needed and work out the price per serving. He really enjoys this and it makes him much more aware of the value of money than any other ways we’ve tried.'
Getting involved in real-life things that are important to the family as a whole, can be really useful when teaching children to be financially savvy.
You can view her excellent blog here. It's absolutely crammed full of financial tips for families!
To help kids with budgeting their spending, I have created these cute cash envelopes. Fill in the form below and receive this set of 4 envelopes free.
Teach your kids to pause and think before impulse buying
Michelle, over and Time and Pence talks about teaching children to step back from impulse buys and think it through first.
She asks the question to her son - 'Do you really need it?'
She says that, quite often her son will decide that the purchase is not worth it, He then saves up for an item that is bigger and better.
Her blog is well worth a look and has given me loads of new inspiration.
Teach kids about money every day in a real context
Every day, there are opportunities that occur, that you can never predict. Try to include your kids in these situations. Practice over time will help them develop confidence with money. It will help them make decisions independently.
Teaching kids about money - conclusion
So, to conclude, it is never too early to start teaching your kids about personal and family finance.
You can use:
- fun games
- practical activities like savings and spending jars
- Conversations about money as you are dealing with it.
Has this helped you out as a starting point for teaching your children about money and budgeting?
Has it reminded you of your childhood?
What financial lessons did you learn or not learn while growing up?
Feel free to share and comment below with your thoughts and creative ideas!