As parents we teach our children a lot: to count, read, say please and thank you and, hopefully, be an example to others.
Research shows that parents also pass on their approach to finances. So exactly how are we teaching our children to be financially astute from a young age?
Compared to some of their European counterparts, British parents with children under 10 are more generous when it comes to paying pocket money. That changes from 10 upwards when they end up paying well below the European average.
Teaching the value of money
Your child’s financial education can begin as soon as they learn to count and a great time to start talking about spending and saving is birthdays or Christmas (if they‘re likely to receive a cash gift).
If your child asks for something expensive: an iPhone 7 for £599, or an Xbox One for £199, try to explain to them the time it would take to earn that amount of money. The minimum wage for a person under 18 is £4 per hour, which means it would take 150 hours or nearly three weeks working full-time, to save for that new iPhone.
How to budget
An important lesson to instil from a young age is not to spend more than you have. Dividing money into different pots is a great way to demonstrate this as it really helps your child to visualise where their money is going. They can also see that when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Try using two jam jars. Label one ‘Spend now’ and one ‘Save for later’. Talk to your child about how they would like to divide their pocket money or any cash gifts they receive between the two jars. If they keep their savings jar topped up, they can see that they have rainy day money if they need it when their ‘spend now’ jar is empty.
You could also add in a third jar ‘Donate to others’ to show your child that they can afford to help children who may not be lucky enough to receive pocket money for their own jars.