When I went to university, one of my friends spent her entire term’s money in the course of a few weeks. She wasn’t really a party animal, so it didn’t go on alcohol and nights out, but she bought clothes, trinkets and anything she fancied. I don’t really know what made her do something so daft, but maybe she’d not really learnt about managing her money as she grew up. Maybe that was the first time she’d had any money of her own to spend. Maybe her parents hadn’t set a good example. I think learning how to manage your money is an important life skill and one that I’m keen to pass onto H. So how what are my suggestions for teaching children about managing money?
Talking about financial decisions with H, both big and small, has always been something that we’ve done. If I am shopping with H I explain why I am choosing one item over another, so he understands the sort of decision-making that goes on. Things like I’m buying this one because it’s cheaper. Or we like the taste of this one best, even though it’s more expensive, but we buy the large pack because it saves money in the long run and it’s not something that goes off. Obviously, we don’t discuss every single purchasing decision, but enough for him to understand our thought processes.
Saving up for things is part of what we do and we talk to H about when we’ll have enough money saved up to do a certain thing. Last year we refitted our kitchen and we spent 3 years saving for that. H has known about this and we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the process as we dragged him around kitchen showrooms and the like. H has his own money and saves up for what he wants. At the moment he wants the Avengers Quinjet City Chase from Lego and he’s saved up pocket-money and birthday money for that. He’s got his own junior bank account so he can keep a track on his money.