Most parent are interested in teaching their child how to save money or the worth of money. Parents ask, ‘When can I start teaching my child the worth or value of money?’ OR ‘At what age can I teach my child about money?’ OR ‘How can my child have a practical understanding of money?’ I understand that children are taught numeracy at school from about age four and by the time they get to year 1 class they are introduced to using pennies to add or subtract, however, this is theory and not practical. I understand that some parents or childcare practitioners may say “children have role play or play shop in the pretend area” but as the name indicate, it is role play and pretend.
How do we actually teach children to understand the value of money? There has been debate about introducing money matters into UK secondary schools with the help of money advisers, accountants or stock brokers visiting classes, but will this actually work. For me, this is still all practical and not real life experience. I feel parents have a greater role in teaching children the practical aspect of spending and saving money. I have come across parents that indicate they encourage their children to watch money matter programs such as Bloomberg and read stock market shares. These are all good steps in helping children understand money, however this can help in the long term rather than giving instant result.
As parents we give our children pocket money or outing money but how many of us do encourage our children to save, during the month, from their pocket money or return with change at the end of a school outing. Our children go on lots of school trips and are given money to buy souvenirs from their outing but how many parents ask for change left from the money buy the end of the day. Regardless of how much money that is given to children for school trip outing, be it £1.00 or £5.00, I feel parents should always ask for change. This is not an austerity action but rather a starting point in teaching children to save from whatever income they have. I have been trying to teach my 7 year old son money saving tips and always told him to have change from school trip money, regardless of how much was given to him. For the first school trip outings, of cause he spent the whole money, but with me repeating and encouraging him, he finally got it and had some change for me by the next school trip. Did I collect the change from him, of cause not, I asked him to put it in his piggy bank and that it was his to save.
I came across a 12 years old child that has just opened an account. She was very much excited about bieng able to remove money from her account but she was not sure how to put money into the account. My suggestion, children should have a piggy bank at home where they can save money from their pocket money and at the end of the month should be taken to the bank, by the parent, to save the money into their account. It is about developing a culture of giving into the saving accounts and not just collecting from it. Start your child, practically, on the money saving journey and get them into the habit of saving money.