After all, the habits we pick up in childhood often stay with us into our adult lives. Studies into childhood obesity, for example, have been well documented and the general consensus is that an obese child is more likely to be obese in adulthood. It’s not a direct parallel, of course, but things like this do support the theory that picking up good habits early on can really pay off.
Here are some important money skills suggested by Ian Williams at www.thinkbanking.co.uk:
- Saving in a piggy bank. If your child can get into this habit, they will (hopefully) get a real ‘kick’ out of seeing their money grow.
- Budgeting. Limit what you give to your child and allow them to choose what they can afford to spend it on. They will probably enjoy the independence of spending their ‘own’ money and begin to work out the value of money.
- Spending their allowance. The amount you give should be appropriate for their age. Teenagers may benefit from a regular allowance – at the same time every week, to encourage living to a budget. If they think they can get money from you every time they ask, you’ll soon feel like a cash machine!
- Earning money. There is no harm in giving the occasional reward for good behaviour, but other ways to ‘earn’ money as a child or teenager include baby sitting, helping with chores around the house or earning interest in a savings account.
- Saving in a bank account. Saving can really encourage patience, which will be rewarded when they can afford to buy a treat.
Parents want the very best for their children, and it’s a big responsibility to pass on values that will give children the best possible start in life. It’s fair to say that parents want their children to be responsible members of society, form friendships and positive relationships in their personal and professional lives and ultimately grow up to be well-rounded individuals to be proud of.
Teaching youngsters basic money skills and all about the value of money could really benefit them when the time comes to open their first bank account and start applying those skills in a more adult way.
A recent survey carried out by Organised Mum found that three-quarters of mums are spending at least Ã‚Â£20 per week more on food, with 25% saying it’s at least Ã‚Â£40 per week more.
When asked what measures families are taking to cut down weekly food bills, 59 per cent said they are taking greater care when planning meals and are generally trying to buy less, a further 22 per cent said they were buying the same products but have switched to cheaper own-brand versions and 19 per cent have even ditched their favourite supermarket for a cheaper alternative.
Sarah Sadler at Organised Mum commented, “More now than ever, families need to ensure they are getting value for money from what they spend on food each week, but focusing on what you buy is just as important as not overspending in the first place. Our survey has already revealed that people
are making changes to the way they shop and that they are prepared to look
at different ways of making cut backs if needed. A little bit of good old fashioned organisation and planning can also do wonders for your bank balanceÃ‚â€.”
Here are Sarah’s seven tips for saving money on food:
- Buy your free range eggs from local farms rather than the supermarket at around 75p for a dozen rather than Ã‚Â£1.50 for half a dozen. Eggs are also very versatile and can make a great evening meal for the family.
- Buy your meat from the supermarket “reduced” cabinets and freeze it for use at a later date.
- Buy a bread making machine where you can make a loaf of bread for around 52p compared with a premium brand at around Ã‚Â£1.20 per loaf. You get to wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread and it won’t have anywhere near as many preservatives in it, which can only be a good thing.
- Change your lunch habits. Make your sandwiches at home in the morning before you leave for work, or do one single shop at the supermarket on a Monday morning and buy everything you need for your lunch that week. You will still save pounds over buying pre-packed sandwiches every day.
- Look out for special offers at your supermarket, stock up on good deals – but don’t be tempted to overspend on something that you didn’t need. Stick to your list and only indulge in special offers if you need or will need the item anyway.
- Take the time to sit down and make a weekly meal plan making sure that you include recipes that will use any food stuffs that are nearing their use-by-date. When making the list ensure that you have considered the week’s activities. For example, one of your children may be out at a sleepover and won’t require dinner that night. You can then use the meal plan to make a shopping list that makes sure you only buy the food you will need for that week’s meals.
- Finally, the golden rules of shopping: don’t shop when you are hungry. Inevitably, if you food shop whilst hungry you are more likely to be tempted by the mouth watering delicacies on show.
These are by no means exhaustive ideas. What are your money-saving tips? How is your family being affected by the “credit crunch”? Share in the comments below.