Money is an important topic for any parent. We all want to be able to provide our children with what they need, but it is also a crucial part of a parent’s duty to teach their children how to use and handle money responsibly.
No matter how old your child is it is never too late to start teaching them about money. Below we have given some handy hints and tips on how to teach children under 5, between 5 and 7, and 7 to 11 years old, the basics on money and saving.
Children Under 5
If your child is under the age of 5 and you want to introduce them to money, the best place to start is by showing them what money looks like. Get a selection of coins and notes, and then discuss the colours, shapes and values with your child. Allow them to play with the money and draw pictures of it.
Once your child knows what money looks like, it’s time to explain what it is used for. They best way a child can understand this concept is by turning it into a game. Try playing shop with your child, price a selection of items and using either real or toy money to pay for them.
The final step in this process can take place during your weekly food shop. In order to show how money is used in the real world, write a list of the items you need to buy from the supermarket, then show your child how you use money to pay for them when you get to the cashier.
Children Aged 5-7
When it comes to money, there is a certain level of maths involved. Now that your child is a little older you can add multiplication, addition and subtraction into the mix. This is a great way to teach your child about the value of money and the concept of saving.
If your child is aged between 5 and 7 years, this is the perfect time to start giving them pocket money. This money could be dependent on your child’s age, or responsibilities they have been given around the house. Explain that this money is theirs and they can decide what they want to spend it on.
If your child wants to buy something more expensive than the pocket money they have been given, explain that they would need to save their money in order to purchase it. In order to put this into context, show your child on a calendar when they would be able to afford what they want. This will not only teach your child about then value of money, but it will also give them the patience they need to save up for what they want in the future.
Children Aged 7-11
Now that your child is a little older, it is time to teach them about banks by allowing them to save in their own account. There are lots of children’s saving accounts that you can set up at any age, but some accounts for children under 18 start from the age of 11.
Make the choice of bank with your child by telling them about the pros and cons of each account, some may even offer some kind of gift or incentive. Here you can explain about interest rates and how banks can increase the amount you save over time. If your child is given an account with a debit card, ensure that you teach your child about keeping their card and pin safe.
If your child is able to view their account via online banking, this may also be an opportune moment to teach them about buying things online. Ensure that your child understands the basics of buying online, from identifying secure websites to how to use methods of payment such as PayPal.
It is important to teach your child about money from an early age, as it will set up their attitudes and understanding of money for the future. If you want to teach your children more about saving and investing for the future, visit F&C Investments in order to give your child the head start they deserve.