“Should I introduce my child to money?” is a constant struggle that many parents find difficult to address, let alone making it easy, structured and pain-free for both parents and children. Here is the good news: As long as you let your kids understand the basic nature of money, and that while important it is merely a tool in our daily lives, that would already be a good starting point on their financial journey.
Tip #1: Show Children the Various Forms of Money
As children grow up, images or objects are the most effective means for them to acquire knowledge. Therefore, allowing children to see, touch and feel how money works in different daily and payment scenarios as parents illustrate the usage of money may be a better alternative than explaining to them verbally.
Traditionally, parents leverage coins and banknotes to teach their children about the denomination of currency and get to know about money. With the advancement in technology and digital payment methods, try to get your children some hands-on experience with Octopus, mobile payment tools, electronic wallets and ATM cards to enhance their sense of money and their understanding of the relationship between money and daily life!
Tip #2: Play-to-Learn
Every child loves playing, and as parents, we can leverage educational games to be a great way for them to learn about the concept of money and financial management.
Learning from games enables complex and abstract concepts to be presented to children in a simple and clear way – allowing children to learn through playing, to feel excited and the sense of achievement playing the game provides a good incentive for them to continue their learning journey about money.
- Board Games
Boardgaming is a great way for play-to-learn in financial management, for example, the classic “Monopoly”, “Money” and “1920 Wall Street”.
- Financial App
In addition to board games, with easy access for children to gadgets nowadays, mobile apps are also great means of financial education. For example, “The Fortune City” is an app that allows people to record expenses while building their own city through accounting. In addition to recording their daily expenses, children can also get satisfaction from this city-building game.
Of course, there is also a local Hong Kong app to mention. Experience FinPod – Hong Kong’s first next-generation super app to organize family tasks, rewards, pocket money and entertainment for your children. Through the app, parents can easily assign tasks to their children, send pocket money, and track savings and expenses. Experience FinPod now!
Tip #3: Plan Together
Many parents have planned well for their family’s and their kids’ futures, but if we include our kids in the conversation and process of making certain decisions about their futures, children will not only have a clearer picture of their life planning but also a segue to integrate concepts of financial planning as well.
- Understanding family expenses
Making kids aware of the costs associated with the household is the best method to help them learn how to handle money responsibly. Schools probably never teach about household expenses, but if parents can be transparent about a family budget outlining necessary expenses such as tuition, utilities, rent, etc. during a regular family meeting with their kids, then kids would be able to get a sense of how money is allocated and spent.
- Shopping list
Parents may want to allow the kids to participate in making a shopping list whenever the family needs to go grocery shopping. While coming up with the list, we should set a budget and itemize the purchases. Make sure your child understands that every purchase is made with a reason and not just on a whim or recklessly to their liking.
Conclusion: Rome wasn’t built in a day, and we need to start helping kids develop the concept of money management brick-by-brick from the ground up. The most crucial thing is to allow kids to learn from experience and feel empowered to make decisions, so they can get on with their journey soon enough to master their own finances at a young age!
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