Parents with kids? Teach them about money.

Parents with small kids? I think this is an article that we should read to learn a few ways to teach our kids about money. It’s written by Mark Reijman, the co-founder and managing director of A few points he shared is quite relevant to me. “Teach them about the finiteness of money by letting them make trade-offs and let them learn to prioritise: the zoo or the amusement park?” I really do give her choices. For example, either the McDonald’s toy or ice-cream. She would always choose the toy. Haha. Mark also shared that he wanted his kids to understand money is not some magical entity which grows on trees, but that it is something finite which can be gained and lost, managed and controlled. I think he is by far more structured than me. I teach my daughter that we cannot simply buy anything and everything because it is expensive.  So far, so good.
Now for my own sharing about money topics with kids. My daughter will be 4 very soon. She does not have her own smartphone or tablet. She does not cry for me to buy toys for her in Toys R Us. We go there once every two weeks. The reason is very simple. I speak to her like an adult and I told her that to buy a tablet like what her cousin has, it’s EXPENSIVE. Papa and Mama must work hard to earn enough money so that we can go out for dinners in Old Town for example. By the way, the kid’s set in Old Town is VALUE for MONEY. These days, she is the one reminding the brother not to take the toys when we are in any toy department. She would say, ‘We are not buying. It’s expensive. Please put it back.’ No joke, this is the actual sentence from a nearly 4 year old to her 20-month old brother.
During the school holiday season, her nursery set up a mock canteen and asked us to give her some pocket money. The principal said RM1 is more than enough. They just wanted to give the kids the chance to use money. On the first day, we gave her RM1 in coins. She used only 20 cents. She bought Lolly-Pop. I think her school must have suffered losses to sell her a Lolly-Pop for 20 cents. Haha. On the second day, she used ALL the money. Actually, we do not know how she used it but she told her she bought many things. We told her that she should also spend some money to buy something for her brother. She really bought her brother a Lolly-Pop and later some other little sweets etc. I think she loves her brother even though they fight EVERY DAY these days. Of course, she does not yet have any sense of how different are coins from notes BUT she knows that she cannot simply request for toys or snacks because things are expensive.
Oh yeah, this is how my good friend taught his 10 year-old son. It works too.  Saving, budgeting and investing by a 10-year old I think the most important thing is that we are also disciplined enough when we use money. Be reminded, kids learn by watching what we do. We cannot be buying this and that everyday and when they asked for some toys, we answer that we do not have the money. How we use money would affect how they use money in future. It’s thus great to have kids because we may have to change so that our kids would learn about using money the right way. Happy moulding your kids on their thoughts about money.
written on 22 Jan 2017
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