Finances: Teaching children about money

The first brush with money for children may be that one hundred franc they get to go and buy a sweet or the present from a loving uncle who stays far and wants to lavish their niece/nephew with some special love.

The first brush with money for children may be that one hundred franc they get to go and buy a sweet or the present from a loving uncle who stays far and wants to lavish their niece/nephew with some special love.

Even through we do not want children to become too money hungry while still young, it is pertinent to instill a good money sense in children at that formative stage before they get influenced by the free-spending cultures that abound which are not financially constructive.

First, children must know that money is valuable. This is not very hard because they will see money changing hands for value pretty early.

Two, as soon as your child becomes interested in money, start teaching him or her how to handle it wisely. The simple lessons you teach today will give your child a solid foundation for making a lifetime of financial decisions.

It is not a good habit to use money to appease an angry or crying child because they will learn that in life all they have to do is get into a tantrum so that their loved ones can give them money.

Cash should be used as a reward for a child. For example, if a child wants an expensive BMX bicycle because they saw a neighbour’s child riding one, you can give it to them and in the process have them learn nothing.

On the other hand you can take them to the shop so that they memorize the price and assign a simple, scheme like earning Rfw 2,000 for laying their bed well in the morning or arranging their room or even doing their homework on time.

You can help them to keep these accounts of money earned and promise a bonus of matching every coin earned by a 100% of the amount.

For of course you will still buy your child the bicycle but they will also learn that money is earned not given for free. In the process you have also taught them to save.

Don’t turn your child into a slave because you are teaching them to work for money. The chores should be simple but symbolic of some effort the child has to put in the work in order to get a reward.

Children are constantly tempted to spend money everywhere but they are not born with the ability to make good financial decisions just like the rest of us but they can learn from the parents.

Your child needs guidance from you to make good buying decisions.  When shopping together, show your child how to compare items based on price and quality.

For example, when you go to the supermarket, teach him or her to find the prices on the items or on the shelves, and explain why you’re choosing to buy one brand rather than another.

Let your child make mistakes. If the toy your child insists on buying turns out to be not long-lasting or breaks easily, eventually your child will learn to make good choices even when you’re not there to give advice, because experience is the best teacher.

kelviod@yahoo.com

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