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.