Thrifty parents are thrifty children. Yes, of course – there are exceptions to this. However, if we want to teach a child how to properly manage money, remember that he learns the world through observation. Parents, so you have two tasks. First, you must lead by example yourself. Secondly, you are responsible for the gradual introduction of your child in everyday rituals, so you should tame her with the topic of money in the most accessible way possible. Preferably through play. Play with the child in the store, let them see how to choose a product, pay for it and operate the cash register. You can also play with him in one of the many educational games, e.g. Educational Fund, Little Banker, or popular Eurobusiness and Monopoly in the version for the youngest. It will be much easier for a child with such basics to start learning counting at school, and then use the larger sums himself. For starters, for example, in a school store.
Learning to save money – school stage
You can talk for hours about the uselessness of school knowledge in everyday life. Let him raise his hand who, even once, after leaving the walls of the school, used the short multiplication formula or solved the genetic crossword. You, dear teachers and parents of school-age children, are not included in this vote.
Despite numerous education reforms, which even ended with the introduction to schools (high schools and technical secondary schools) of such a subject as economics in practice, parents and the environment in which the child revolves are still responsible for gaining practical knowledge. The school only gives some basics. Exactly how does it start? At school, money begins to talk in the first grade of primary school, when children are 6-7 years old.
Earlier education does not make much sense, because the awareness of the value of money appears with the development of the concept of number, with the learning of subsequent digits. First graders, using fake banknotes, learn to spend them by playing. For example, the teacher may propose playing scenes during which children (on specific examples) learn what they can buy for a given amount, so as not to exceed the budget or what to choose to save. What is the effect of this? Students gradually become accustomed to the topic of money and begin to understand which amounts are large and which are small. They also sense intuitively that it’s better to buy one, better thing than a few completely useless. While playing, they observe that, having a certain amount, sometimes you have to choose what we need, not what we like. Six- and seven-year-olds learn numbers up to 20, so you use very simple comparisons, known to them from everyday life. Getting to know the value of money at school, while learning numbers and numbers, is the next step to saving effectively in the future.
Mission: pocket money
After such education, you can try to give your child pocket money – from this moment he will manage his savings and start making the first financial decisions in his life. It’s good not to receive money for anything. Let pocket money be a reward for doing some housework that does not go beyond the child’s skills. This is the easiest way to teach them respect for money and its value – if our child has to earn it, he will spend it much more rationally. And that’s what we mean. This stage of learning how to save is also a good time for your child to put their money in the piggy bank. He will understand the mechanism very quickly – if he finds that thanks to long-term saving he can buy his dream toy, he will certainly want to repeat this success. Thus, he will start applying one of the most important saving principles – setting a clear, achievable goal.
The parent’s role is to explain to the child the differences between obligations, needs and whims, because it will move within these categories. As part of budget management, let’s offer him a notebook in which he will write his expenses and confront them with the amount of money he has at the moment. Larger children can be encouraged to place their savings in the bank and to regularly deposit additional amounts there.
Deposit for a child – learning how to save for parents?
It is obvious that the child cannot set up a deposit on his own – this decision is up to the parents and they will be responsible for the funds in this account in the future. So this solution is more an attempt to secure the future of the child or to save for something for him than to learn to save. By informing them that he has such a position, we will not be understood – it is an abstract concept for him. Imagination is much better for money that can see, the amount of which visually increases or decreases. If we want to teach a child how to save, let’s not do it. Very many parents, in order to fulfill their children’s dreams and secure their future, even decide to take out a loan or take out a loan. Not the way. Children don’t have the needs of adults. They don’t have to pay for the flat, they are dressed, fed and have their own toys. If we want to take out a loan, let’s remind consultants from Vivus, Filarum or Monedo Now, what we want to use it for. They will advise us on the best solution and we will avoid unnecessary, increasing debt. You will learn more about this in our article about Poles lending money to their children.
Saving Money: Junior version
It is not said that after applying the above rules, the child will become economical. In fact, teaching him respect for money is a lengthy process, and its success also depends largely on us. Let’s summarize what we can do for our junior, so that he can manage his budget reasonably in the future.
First, let’s introduce the child to the world of money through play – board games, fake banknotes, etc. It will be his base when he gets to school, where real learning will start and, in addition to the next numbers, he will also learn the practical application of money. When he takes the second step, it’s time for spending money. Best paid for some work and thoroughly documented in the child’s private notebook. This stage will allow us to quickly verify what progress in saving is making. One thing is certain – he will learn from his mistakes the fastest.