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How do you teach your kids better financial habits?

(5 Posts)
user1494783558 Sun 14-May-17 18:52:31

Hi everyone! Would love to hear if anyone has ever had any conversations with their children about money and if so, what kinds of things were you trying to teach them? Is there anything that you find difficult or annoying about it?

Badbadbunny Mon 15-May-17 10:21:35

We've had money conversations with our son from a very young age. Right from his first birthday parties when he'd get gifts of money, we'd talk through his "options" with him, either to go out and blow it on sweets and rubbish, or whether to save it and then buy something really special with it. Also, when he got gifts of things he didn't want or which he already had, we'd talk through the option of selling it on ebay and giving him the money instead. Also, on days out when he's wanted to buy a "souvenir", we'd encourage him to buy something useful or point out the cheapest items that would still be a memory.

For birthdays and christmas, we have "grown up" conversations about what he really wants, so instead of a pile of tat, he usually gets big ticket items like an iphone, xbox, ipad, set of golf clubs - just depending on what he actually needs/wants at that time. Sometimes we'll spend several hundred pounds, other times far less. Unlike a lot of people, we don't have a "fixed" spending amount and make it up with other things - if he doesn't want much one year, he doesn't get much and he understands and is happy with that, because he may well get something really expensive the next year if that's what he wants!

We've also been very keen on him selling his surplus stuff, i.e. the old xbox360 when he wanted a new xbox1, or the old nintendo wii when he first wanted the xbox. Likewise, when he got FIFA17, we sold FIFA16. We've put the ebay proceeds in his bank account and it builds up to a nice wedge of money which he can then spend on something nice - latest purchase was a set of golf clubs!

When he was about 10, I took him to a model railway exhibition, and at the pay desk, it was him who noticed that the guy behind the counter only gave me change for a tenner whereas I'd given him a £20 note. I was astounded, not only that he'd noticed I'd given a £20 note, but also that he had the confidence to speak up about it to someone he didn't know!

So, basically, he knew the value of money from a very early age, got into the habit of saving rather than wasting, got into the habit of selling off stuff he didn't need anymore to use the money for things he does need.

Over the years, our money conversations have become more grown up and can now include mortgages, leasing, how credit cards work, dangers of signing up for "freebies" with hidden extras, dangers of entering credit card or paypal details into websites, etc.

He's now 15 and is very astute with money. Only this last weekend, he went on a camping trip and proudly told us how he'd worked out the best "value for money" lunch he bought in a village cafe they went into. He'd bought a main meal for less than the amount paid by some of his friends for smaller items such as a couple of biscuits or cakes (usually very expensive in comparison) and as they were still hungry, they bought extra things too!

You really can't start too soon.

lovelyupnorth Tue 16-May-17 12:49:04

Ours both have weekend jobs since 13 y/o and any extras they want they buy themselves.

works really well and they understand how hard it can be to earn money.


OdinsLoveChild Tue 16-May-17 12:53:56

I teach mine to never buy anything on credit.
If they really want something save up the whole amount and buy it because YOU own it yourself that way and its not 'borrowed/loaned' and it cant be taken off you if you no longer make any payments.

Unfortunately schools teach them that theres good credit and bad credit and its good to have some things on credit because if you don't you wont ever be able to have a mortgage hmm

I also take them shopping and explain to them about how brands are more expensive but that cheaper variations don't mean poorer quality. Making clever choices can save you money in the long run too.

specialsubject Wed 17-May-17 16:27:01

top tip - watch out for new users on MN who aren't willing to pay for their surveys!!

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