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Teaching money sense

We have entered a new tax year, from April 6. How many older children know this? I learnt about tax and money from my mother – a critical life skill. It helped me manage my own finances as undergraduate student, aged 19. While parents think it’s important to teach children money management skills, few are doing it. Do you teach your children money sense?

Money dad

Financial adulthood

More than 40% of people surveyed by Santander say their parents were the biggest influence on how good or bad they are with money. More than 50% say they wish they had received more money advice at a younger age.

False dawn

From September 2014, financial education became part of the secondary school curriculum in England. After years of campaigning it may seem that the job is done, however a report by the Money Charity states that two thirds of teachers say that the financial education is ineffective. Worse, schools face barriers in delivering the new lessons, as the teachers lack their own financial know-how.

Money talks…

For some parents, talking about money can seem as tricky as talking about sex. Here are what the experts say about teaching kids’ money sense.

  • Show them money. With Internet banking, online shopping and card payments, many younger children rarely see notes and coins. Play shops with real cash and coins.
  • Make saving fun. Giving pocket money from a young age can help children better understand the value of money. They know what their cash can buy.
  • Count the cost. By 10 years, children should be able to go into a shop and buy a snack or drink, and know exactly how to count out the money and the change they should receive.
  • Teach them to budget. Encourage your children to write down what they spend so they know exactly where their money goes.
  • Teenage traumas. Avoid trying to control what teenagers spend their money on, even if you consider it frivolous spending.
  • Family finance. Avoid saying that “we can’t afford it.” Explain that mortgage/rent, council tax, utility bills, insurance, phone, broadband, TV subscription and food all cost money. They will be surprised how little disposable income is left in the family.

If you want to have child conversations about money, then consider money apps to help children save, as it will open the money thought lines. Ultimately, learning about money is valuable for all children, especially for teenagers wanting the latest must-have smart phone or computer game. In a few years they will be students, absorbing over £40,000 of debt. Money sense is key element in life’s toolbox, otherwise parents will be bailing out their offspring in some future money crisis.

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Date: 09 April 2018 by Max Robinson