Finance is always associated with adulthood, but that doesn’t mean that children can’t be taught how to handle money. Especially with how children are now – mature, worldly, and in a rush to grow up – there should not be a reason why not.
However, there are others who don’t find it comfortable teaching children the concept of money. There are stages to it, and technology can help you. In fact, with dozens of finance apps hitting the market, kids and their parents should exploit it as much as they can.
In every generation, technology takes different forms. We can say the same for different age groups. So, we will look closely as to how teaching changes from one age group to the next, and what form technology takes when dealing with them.
TEACHING KIDS FINANCE BY AGE
Knowing that dozens of finance apps are hitting the market, teaching kids finance has never been more convenient. To speak their language does make it easier. Although, mixing it with traditional means doesn’t hurt too.
AGE 3 – 6
Seems too young, but you can start teaching them about finance as soon as they start counting.
As a general rule, you may notice this start around three years old. Although, in others it can be later. Regardless of what age they may start, here are the things that you may want to know when teaching them about finance.
Developing a physical relationship with money
It is imperative to let them know that money is real. In most cases, they feel a strong attachment to coins. Regardless, what you can do to encourage this is, if you are paying cash when doing groceries, let them hand over the money to the cashier. Also, letting them save up coins into a piggy bank may also help drive this through.
They learn by watching
At this age, children are very visual learners. That is why it is vital that you should teach by example. Show good habits and use the fact that their minds are like sponges at this point.
Technology, at this stage, may take the form of the television. Let them watch TV shows that might involve simple math. Lucky if they already have a favorite growing up. Reinforce it.
However, if they don’t have one yet, try to encourage it. It will help you vastly. Of course, forcing it on them will not help. So, don’t.
AGE 6 – 12
Between these ages, children are more likely to socialize outside the family dynamic. As a result of this, you can’t control their exposure to whatever luxuries their friends may have. This can raise questions, mostly why.
In cases like this, the approach you should take includes:
Present the difference between a want and a need
This is the best time to lay the foundation. To differentiate what a want is from a need is very important especially nowadays when brands have become increasingly aggressive in marketing. They can easily fall for it.
Let them know that a want is something that you aim for a long-term. The needs are the important ones. These ones need to be met right away.
Offer them choices
They need to have supervised independence. This is mostly the case when they express they want something. Let them choose what scenario they think is best. It is the best way to gauge how they think of leading into the future.
Keep in mind that as the child nears the older part of this age group, you have to start sprinkling in consequences in the choices you offer to ease the reality.
iAllowance is an app that you can exploit. It’s an app where parents put in the money, how the child uses it is up to them. However, part of it you should let them earn it through chores and achievements.
This is when they become more independent from you. It is mostly because they spend more time with their friends. In fact, 60 percent of the time they will be outside of the house. That is why control will be difficult. During these times, things you can do include:
Put them in charge for a week
Promote their independence by letting them be in charge of the household’s budget for a week. Supervise their decisions. This will prepare them for when they have to live on their own.
Promote independent earning
Encourage teenagers to work for their money. Not just through chores, but actual work. That way, if they spend, it will be theirs and not yours. Although, you may still continue to supplement it.
As they grow older you may include credit scores, debt, taxes, and investments in their education. You may also employ gaming logic as this is a language that most teenagers understand.
Finance is a huge part of an adult’s life. Unfortunately, everything beyond the household revolves around it. To educate them as early as possible is all you can do to set them up so that they have a better relationship with money over the long term.
If you get the basics right from an early age, when it comes to adulthood and they have independence over their finances, you will find that managing money is like second nature for them. Get the building blocks right and you won’t go far wrong.
Yes the Apps and technology can help to facilitate this and it’s wise to make use of these tools as they become available.
But there are also many things (as outlined in this article) that can help as well, from showing them early examples of budgeting, to sitting down and talking about money over the dinner table. It will all help to build your child’s confidence and help them to balance the books.