herald

Sunday 19 August 2018

Top tips to help your children learn the importance of money

BY teaching your children the value of money as early as possible, you can give them a valuable lesson which will last them for their whole lives. Consider how your attitude to money influences your own children; everything you say or do in relation to money has an effect:

> If you don't discuss money in front of them they won't learn anything about it.

> Whatever emotions you display, such as fear, worry or indifference, will colour their own relationship with money.

> If you are mean with money or overly generous, if you never waste a penny, or if you spend like there's no tomorrow, your children will be watching and learning.

Children are are unlikely to learn much about money from any other source apart from the odd class in school.

Given the way debt has spread through society, it's important that you educate your children about personal finance. You need to teach them the key principles, including how to:

> Save for a specific purpose

> Stick to a budget -- understanding the concept of budgeting

> Choose competitive products

> Shop around

> Spend money wisely.

Pocket money is another major issue. Giving it depends on parents' financial situations, as well as their own values.

Research indicates that parents, on average, give school-going children up to €10 per week, while at second level, children are given €20 per week and third level a whopping €60 per week.

Even if you can afford the €10 per week, it might be useful to encourage your children to save some of this for their future needs -- like buying mum and dad Christmas presents or their own phone credit when they are of the age to have a mobile.

Money is a family thing and children should be versed in the basic concepts from as early an age as possible.

Our children really do not always appreciate some of the hardship parents went through and are currently experiencing.

In some respects, this is a pity because parents' values are generally so different to their children's. Clearly, you don't want to worry your children about money unduly. Still, I believe there is a lot to be said for showing them where your income comes from, and what you then do with it.

When your children realise how well you manage money, they can't fail to be proud of you.

Naturally, they will grow up not just wanting to be debt-free and rich enough to retire when young -- but actually understanding how this can and could be achieved.

What better legacy could you leave them?

Don't let them leave home without good money habits and a genuine understanding of how money works.

www.moneydoctor.ie

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