When it comes to kids, all parents wish for them to be healthy, happy and financially secure.
For their child’s financial well-being, some dream to raise the next sports champion or even the next tech billionaire. But as we unfortunately know, these dreams rarely become reality.
That’s why we’d like to share some research that’s making parents sit up and realise how their spending habits really influence their kid’s financial future.
Kids money habits form by the age of 7
It’s now been proven that seven year old kids have a clear understanding of the value of money and the concept of earning/receiving an income. They also fully comprehend how it can be used for purchasing goods and services.
Consequently, parents are being told to “wake up” to their own spending habits (both good and bad) as they are going to have a knock-on effect with their own kids behaviours as they reach adulthood themselves.
In other words, be prepared that it’s highly likely the financial habits you currently show your kids will consciously impact how they make financial decisions for the rest of their life too.
How can parents start influencing their kids financial future?
The good news is kids are incredibly resilient and can always be taught new things, starting today.
The very first step is to make sure they understand the difference between “necessities” and “luxuries” – also known as “needs” and “wants”. (Next time you’re having a discussion with your child, why not give them a few examples and see how well they do.)
Research has confirmed this understanding is completely achievable by the tender age of 8, although there are many adults out there that still appear to struggle with this concept.
Having a clear understanding of this “needs or wants” concept paves the way for good budgeting skills and money management.
3 easy ways to teach your kids the value of money
Aside from “walking the walk” and showing your own good money habits, here are 3 great ways to reinforce the value of money.
Introduce them to a piggy bank or bank account
Depending on your child’s age, introducing them to saving is an important way to encourage good money habits. It’s a proven motivator for kids as they can see first hand how their money grows as well as appreciate the art of persistence.
Create a timeline for a specific goal
Provide your child with a visual aid to reach a financial goal, which they can interact with. Being able to understand visually how long it can take to save for a particular goal reinforces the value of money and the length of time it can take to achieve a goal.
Introduce pocket money or similar reward system
Completing chores or tasks for small cash rewards helps cement the earning/receiving an income concept and allows kids to relate to how their parents earn the money they spend in front of them.
So how is your financial well-being?
Now that you know just how important your financial behaviour affects your kid’s future spending habits, are you currently happy with your own financial well-being?
Do you use a budget? We understand how busy life can get, but a budget is the best way to know how well you are financially tracking.
The good news is it’s never too late. You may be interested to read our blog “Are you too scared to budget?” which identifies the most common truths you may discover and the simple ways you can finally overcome them.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for some more creative ways to teach your kids about money, you’re welcome to read our family blog “5 Fun ways to teach your kids about money” which you can hopefully join in too.