Ask a Mum: Teaching My Child About Money
Q: How do I teach my children about money and spending money? I already have a difficult relationship with money and I have no idea where to start.
A: Catherine, 42, Mother of an 8-year old, advises:
My daughter is currently 8 years old and I am determined to equip her with a healthy knowledge of money management by the time she is an adult. I mainly teach her through my example. She sees me working and sometimes says, “I don’t want you to work so much.” Aside from giving her my time I do explain to her that I have to go to work, otherwise we won’t have money for school fees and for vacations or nice things.
That way she understands that there is a direct correlation between money and work. I also give her ‘jobs’ around the house like chores and occasionally when she has been exceptionally helpful I will reward her with some money. I do not always give her money for housework but I do link her allowance to doing actual chores.
I bought her a piggy bank when she was about three years old and whenever she gets any money she puts it in there. When she gets crazy about wanting something I tell her okay let’s empty out the piggy bank. Then I have to explain to her that the value is nothing compared to their cost. She then learns that she will have to work a lot harder and save for a longer time to get it.
When you and your spouse have different attitudes towards money it’s important to iron it out and discuss how you will communicate your values to your kids. If one is lavishing them with expensive gifts and spending money while the other is trying to teach frugality it can be confusing. If your children spend all their allowance before the next ‘pay-day,’ do not give them an “advance.” Let them learn that deprivation follows impulsivity.
Read more: 5 Kenyan Ways To Save Money
Show them the bills you pay such as water, garbage, electricity, insurance, and food so that they understand that the money you earn is not all for play. They also learn that you must first handle your obligations before spending on the fun.