Today I’m going to share with you the five most important money lessons to teach kids – something which has been on my mind a lot lately with the launch of the Family Budgeting Fink cards.
As parents, we all want to make sure our children are as prepared as possible for the real world that they’re going to be living in before too long! For me, with a 17-year-old in college and a 14-year-old fast approaching the end of his time at school, it’s really something I’m trying to focus on.
Budgeting Skills are vital.
This is a huge one for me and I’ve written about it in detail before but basically, I believe that they need to have enough money each month to actually budget with. I give Miss Frugal the family allowance money each month which means that she does get more money than you might expect but she does have to manage that and budget for everything she wants to do throughout the month and have money left over to save for spending money for holidays.
Once it’s gone, it’s gone!
It’s hard but you need to give your children the freedom to make their own mistakes so if they spend all their pocket money on the first day they get it then they have no more money until the next time they’re due to be paid.
Give them as much advice as you want to but don’t stop them from spending their money – even if you think it’s a waste of money. My philosophy on this is that once I give them their pocket money, it’s their money to do with what they please (within reason) but I won’t lend them money against their next lot of pocket money and I won’t (usually) pay for things they want that should have been bought with pocket money.
Saving is optional but not compulsory
So this one might be a bit controversial but I’ve never made my two save their money – I encourage it and definitely reward them for it but I’ve never told them that they had to save a set amount of their money.
That’s because I feel like I could force them to save their money but as soon as they leave home, the chances are that they’ll just stop because I’m not there to enforce the rule. I’d much rather they save because they want to and because they understand the benefits of saving. Miss Frugal is amazing at saving whereas we’re not quite there with Master Frugal.
Learn to meal plan and cook
Food and drink are always going to play a pretty big part in any budget when you’re a grown-up so learning how to plan a week’s worth of meals, shop for them and then ultimately cook them is going to play a huge part in their financial lessons.
I expect my two to cook one night a week each and at least once a month they’ll spend some time with me planning the whole family’s meals for the following week. We’ll discuss costs and other things we could cook with the ingredients that we have in.
We’re all human and we all make mistakes, especially with our money. If we’re honest with our children about our mistakes then they *might* learn from us and not make the same mistakes. 😉
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