Show your Kids Good Money Behaviours
Your kids won’t listen to you when you tell them not to get a phone contract, or a credit card, in generally they won’t listen to you period. Your kids will however learn from the behaviour you model. Every second of the day your kids are learning from you by watching. This makes it vitally important to model good money behaviours to our children.
Money is really one of the last taboos. We don’t talk about it, even within couples. We often want to shield children from money, especially when we are going through financial difficulty. However this approach under prepares our children for the world and can actually increase their levels of fear.
We may try and hide financial problems from our children but they know. Growing up we had an after school routine of going to the bakery after school on Fridays in primary school. My sister had just started school, so I would have been 10. My parents were experiencing some financial problems and there had been arguments, only when were out of the room, or “asleep”. I had decided I wasn’t going to have anything at the bakery because we couldn’t afford it, and I tried quietly to convince my sister to say she didn’t want anything either. If it had been all out in the open and I’d known that there was a plan, and a sausage roll was ok it would have lowered my stress levels.
If you’re experiencing problems, getting money out in the open and demonstrating good money behaviours is vital to lowering kids stress levels and setting them up for a successful financial future. You can’t just tell them, you need to show them.
Good money behaviours to demonstrate to kids:
- Setting a budget at the kitchen table. You kids will see you writing out a budget. If you can get them to be part of it, even better.
- Pay Day. If you use an envelope budget let them put the cash in the various envelopes. If you use different sub accounts, get them to help you transfer the money.
- Paying Bills. After you’ve put the money in the various envelopes/accounts it’s time to take it out. Your kids can even help you pay the bills. Paying bills like electricity and gas can be part of a conversation about how to reduce
- Writing a weekly menu/shopping list. This will make sure you don’t overspend your grocery budget. Take them shopping with you and add up the items as you buy them, it’ll be good for their maths skills. If the items add up to too much involve them in working out how you’re going to get it down. Maybe you can use different cheaper vegetables or meat, or choose home brands.
- Looking for specials. If your kids know you have a $25 budget for take-away for example, let them help you look for how to maximise that. They might be able to find pizza or burger vouchers.
- Saying No. If you kids know there is a budget they know why you’re saying no. You’re not just being mean, there is a reason behind it.
- Should you tell your kids about your debt?
- Financial Lessons for My Son
- The Impact of Debt on Your Relationship