The earlier people learn things, the longer those things tend to stick with them – especially when those things have resonance with how they need to conduct themselves as adults! This is precisely why we put so much weight on the education of our children.
But the fact is that, despite this, a lot of people aren’t actually teaching children enough about finances. This is true no matter how old the child is. Even teenagers who are on the cusp of adulthood don’t get taught enough about finances, despite how important it’s all about to become!
So here are a few of the lessons about money you should impress upon your children.
You’ve got to earn it
Not enough people consider the amount of work that goes into getting money. Sure, we all know it doesn’t grow on trees, and that’s certainly something that needs to be highlighted to kids. But what should also be highlighted is the time and effort that actually goes into that money. When you spend a given amount of money, you’re using something for which you worked a certain amount of hours. When people think about that specific exchange, they become a bit more careful about where that money goes!
Paying less is cool
Finding opportunities to save money is very important for most of us, and this is something that kids need to know about. Kids should get into the habit of trying to get us much as possible out of whatever money they happen to be getting. It doesn’t matter how you do it; coupons, deals, negotiation – pass on as many of the money-saving tricks you’ve learned onto your children. If you know a simple way to get free groceries that works for stay at home moms on a budget, don’t keep it to yourself; your kids may find the same information useful soon enough!
Save, save, save
Most people in their thirties or forties – heck, even some people in their twenties – often look back and wonder why they don’t have more money after spending so many years working. Most people have a fairly comfortable disposable income every month, and if they’d saved it across all that time, then they’d have a very nice amount saved up! We usually learn about the importance of being patient and saving money a little later than we’d like. Make sure your kids know how important it is to save. Don’t just highlight its importance – impress upon them just how pleasurable it can be watching savings build up!
Experiences are better than things
Most people are much happier with the money they spent on experiences than they are with the money they spent on material possessions. A lesson like this may initially go over a child’s head, but it’s worth remembering this advice yourself. Your own habits will help inform theirs. While many would think they’d prefer to spend, say, $600 on items they can keep forever, rather than spending the same money on a trip to another country (which will be over in a matter of days), the fact is that people feel more lasting contentment about the latter choice. It’s worth teaching kids that amazing experiences and memories can easily trump the brief thrill of material possessions.