A few years back my eldest asked me why I go to work. I answered her that it is to earn money to buy all the things that we need. A few days later we went to the ATM and I took out some money. She looked very carefully and a little bit later asked why I just didn’t stay at home with herinstead of going to work and just go to the ATM if I need money for something…..
Many agree that it is never too early to teach our kids about money and I agree. I am quite sure that many of the things I work by today concerning money, I picked up in my childhood.
My first money memory is a piggy bank formed like a bear after the famous Danish cartoon character of Rasmus klump (Rasmus Lump!) distributed by the local bank branch. I would occasionally get allowed to clean out my parents’ spare change from their wallets and but it into the piggy bank. When it was full, we would go to the bank and the nice lady (it was always a nice lady) would pour the coins into the money counting machine. The sum was then written into my very own bank book that would state the current situation of my very own savings account.
Another memory is of my grandparents setting me up with a child savings account. That is an account that they would transfer money to monthly. The account was locked until I turned 18 and the money was invested in governmental stocks and bonds. My grandmother would once in a while show me the prices of the stocks and bonds in the newspaper. With this money (and some additional saved up by my parents) we were able to put down the down-payment on our first apartment!
Here are some of the things that I think is worthwhile to talk to your kids about:
· Get them familiar with the aspect of money; how much does the different things cost and also how the different coins and bills look and how much they are worth.
· Share with them what is going on financially (the level of details according to age). If you are saving because of hard times or because you are saving up for something big, this is something you can let them know. Let them know that money has a limit.
· Let them in on decisions of what to buy and discuss with them what is really needed and what can be spared. Talk to them about needs versus wants.
· Let them have an allowance and encourage them to save some of it – both for short and long-term goals.
I think that some of the things I leaned early on has helped me a lot in my grown-up life and although I definitely have made many mistakes moneywise and learned a lot along the way, have helped me becoming the economical (read: cheap!) person that I am today 😉