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Tips for teaching DS about money

(10 Posts)
swanswanh Tue 11-Mar-14 17:32:02

I've just helped to create this infographic about how to help teach children about the value of money. Hopefully, other parents will find it useful and it's certainly got me thinking about my DS (7) and his attitude to money (not great - still asks if I can buy him anything and everything when we're shopping).

I'd really like your feedback on it – assuming you can find the time, of course... What do you think? Is there anything on there that you've tried, or do you have any other useful tips?

I've gained loads of useful tips on all sorts of parenting stuff on MN, from helping my DS sleep through when he was a baby to how to get through homework without arguments (which we still haven't managed). Hopefully this might give something back!

Thank you.

BrownSauceSandwich Tue 11-Mar-14 19:19:39

I think it's great, especially section 3 - I love the idea of engaging children (in a limited way) with the family budget, making decisions like comic today vs chocolate biscuit each day after school, and assessing the relative values of a 500g pack of pasta and a 1kg pack.

But I must admit that I'm not a massive fan of pocket money for kids. I was brought up on more of a procurement system, and the only times I handled money before i was in my teens were the £1 per week I put into my school savings account.

I'm sure there are pros and cons to both systems, and I'm sure that spending habits are fixed when you're quite young. My husband was brought up on pocket money and cash gifts from family: he spreadsheets his finances to the last degree, whereas I don't even know my bank balance to the nearest £100. I am much more analytical about every spend (do I need more shampoo, or do I just like the look of this one? And so on), whereas he fancies something, spreadsheet allows it, he spends. I'm the one who has money left at the end of the month to put into savings, but I'm also more anxious than him when it comes to spending big money on holidays or household maintenance.

swanswanh Tue 11-Mar-14 22:16:48

Thanks BrownSauceSandwich, that's good to know. Really interesting to hear your thoughts on pocket money, it's something I'm debating at the moment with DS in addition to working on the infographic. I think he'd appreciate things more if he was having to pay for them himself, and prioritise what he wants to spend money on, but is 7 too young to be doing that?

I do think that the point made by the infographic, that it's better for your kids to earn money than simply be given it every week, is very true.

It's interesting to hear about your spending habits - it sounds like you and your husband have got a good balance between you! Like you, I tend to agonise over any slightly indulgent purchase. And very interesting that you're the one with money to put into savings.

foxdongle Wed 12-Mar-14 10:20:02

hi
thanks I liked it very much -it's laid out very well and concise.
i will definately be using it. I liked sections 1 and 4 best.
earning money-my son (14)has a paper round and it really clicked with him straight away about the money/work ethic.
he has learned that if he gets up early does his round= money to spend at weekends.
he has really impressed us how sensible he has been about spending it and he saves about half without any interference from us smile
at half term he spent the whole weeks money and we discussed it and we all agreed that when he was on holiday he could treat himself a bit more. invaluable life lessons.

I also like the bit about everyone pulling together to get a big treat save now=rewards later.
dd 12 has started having pocket money for jobs as in point 1- (not as much as the diagram though.) if it was just handed out it wouldn't be fair on ds who works for his.
they both have long term savings for house deposit that they have never asked for.

dd used to be really bad at asking for this and that whilst out shopping (between 6-9 ish years) but just grew out of it.
me and dh are both very good at saving, in the past we were not so good at spending!
achieving the right balance is the tricky bit- live for today but have enough for the future as well.

swanswanh Thu 13-Mar-14 11:16:48

Thanks Foxdongle, let me know how you get on with it if you get the chance!

I really hope my DS has the same attitude as yours when he's 14 - sounds like he's got a sensible attitude. You've done well there, I'm sure your attitude to saving must have played a part in shaping his habits too.

My DS is 7 so hopefully he'll grow out of the constant asking for things when he gets older as your daughter has.

DadDadDad Thu 13-Mar-14 13:51:05

I'd find it very difficult to teach my children about money if we didn't give them weekly pocket money. It comes with the mantra "spend some, save some, give some away" which they've heard me repeat many times.

Sweets, comics, silly souvenirs in museum gift shops - they pay for them: if you don't have the money you can't have it, great lesson to learn.

If you save, you can get things like that remote controlled helicopter that I am certainly not buying for you.

And they give some away, sometimes with a bit of prompting from me, eg after telling them about terrible situation in Syria, they also contribute to sponsoring an endangered animal through WWF.

DadDadDad Thu 13-Mar-14 13:56:44

The infographic is good, by the way.

Should have added: notionally, part of their pocket money is in return for having responsibilities around the house, which I'm not brilliant at reinforcing, but does help with setting an expectation that they will do things like load dishwasher or tidy playroom.

The one annoying thing these days is that interest rates are so low, so that the savings accounts they have with the local building society are hardly growing, so they are not getting a strong lesson on the value of compound interest...

swanswanh Fri 14-Mar-14 12:32:24

Thanks for your feedback DadDadDad, I think we'd all like a bit more compound interest! From what I can gather, I reckon most people link tasks to pocket money - good preparation for the harsh world ahead, I say. It's hard to stay on top of all the time, though, isn't it?

I like your approach - encouraging them to give some of their money away is a good lesson - teaches global awareness as well as a good financial philosophy - and it's great that they do it.

DadDadDad Fri 14-Mar-14 13:00:46

Yes, I wouldn't say they are very spontaneous about giving money away, but especially when there's been some disaster and I'm making a donation myself, I tell them about it and encourage them to give something. Sometimes, I then have to row back when they get carried away by my sales pitch - "are you sure you really want to give that much?"

123mummy123mummy Tue 10-May-16 10:47:00

Hi guys, I really like the infographic. Well done! A lot of useful tips that i've not thought about before.

I've found another infographic teaching parents how to teach their children money management. You can find it here : www.shepherdsfriendly.co.uk/resources/how-to-teach-your-child-money-management

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