Long before they're verbal, children are learning.
When it comes to money, don't underestimate what you're teaching them even in the early days. Like little sponges, they're soaking it all up.
Buy everything on credit card? Plastic becomes their associated form of currency. Fight about money with your spouse? Money is a contentious subject. Don't discuss it? Money becomes taboo.
Forming a healthy relationship with money starts with modelling, and when the time's right, conversation.
This week on Home Economics, a financial show sponsored by Simplicity and broadcast on 95BFM, educator Amanda Morrall spoke to host Mikey Havoc about conscious parenting and money matters. Have a listen here.
It's never too soon to start teaching healthy habits. Be aware of your actions, language and attitudes around money as they're likely to rub off on your kids before you're even aware of it.
Try not to indulge junior with every whim and wish. As well as emptying your pockets, it'll create a spoilt child. Instead, encourage your child to save up or help contribute towards the purchase of something they want. It'll teach them restraint, patience and help to establish good savings habit. Breaking the instant gratification impulse will serve them well.
Open a bank account and get them an old-fashioned bank book to go with it. Help them to make deposits at the bank and withdrawals from time to time to get them engaged in the process. When they're eligible and mature enough, consider graduating them to online banking. Prepare them as best as possible to handle finances in an online ecosystem.
It depends on the child but giving them pocket money is a way to get them taking responsibility for money early on. Rather than gifting them money, make them do chores for it. Small amounts for small chores and bigger financial rewards for more demanding jobs. This will help to instil work effort as well as teach them about how to value money.
Grandma's jam jars:
Another popular way to educate kids about money is by getting them to divide their money into three jars; one for saving, one for spending and one for charity. This is a great way to get them thinking that money has its multiple uses and that charity is important.
Having a baby:
Planning and budgeting tools for parents: Work and Income
At school: Young Enterprise works with 187 schools across NZ supplying free resources for teachers and students.