When I was growing up, my parents only taught me two things about money:
1. It doesn’t grow on trees
2. There’s not enough
That was the extent of my “money education.”
Because I often received a “no” when asking for the things I really wanted, I got the message that there’s just never enough money.
The way we grow up, together with the messages we receive from our parents all become part of the relationship we develop with money.
I did not want my relationship with money to be centered around the message, “There’s never enough.” So, I worked on changing that message with the intention of creating financial well-being for myself.
I also wanted my children to learn how money works, how to look after it, and how to develop a good relationship with it so that they could grow to be money smart.
What about you? Would you love to raise money-smart kids?
Here’s how you can do that:
1. Teach your kids that money must be earned
It’s important for kids to understand that money must be earned.
To help kids understand this, I advise parents to make a list of the chores in the house, like putting away dishes, feeding pets, making the bed, etc.
Parents can then assign chores to their kids and reward them for each chore completed.
When my kids were growing up, I had them put one marble into a jar for every chore completed. Every Sunday night, they would show me how many marbles they had collected that week, and I would pay them accordingly. So, if my child had five marbles, for example, I would give him or her R5 each.
2. Teach your kids how to develop a good relationship with money
I say to people, “Money flows to those who look after it.”
For kids to develop a good relationship with money, they need to learn to look after it.
With my kids, I explained to them how important it is to treat money as if they were in a relationship with it. So, I would refer to money as Mr Money or Miss Money.
To be in a relationship with Mr or Miss Money, they would have to care for, spend time with, focus on, and plan with “him” or “her.”
3. Teach your kids how to develop a healthy mindset around money
I wanted my kids to learn how to save money from a young age, so I opened a bank account for them and linked that to a savings account.
When the money went into the bank account, they had to save a percentage of it.
Introducing the concept of delayed gratification to kids by teaching them the importance of working toward something they want (even if that may take a longer time) helps them to develop healthy money habits.
(BTW: in my book – Passing the Torch: Preserving Family Wealth Beyond the Third Generation – I teach you all about wealth [not just financial wealth, but wealth in other areas of life, too] and how to develop a healthy money mindset you can pass on to your kids.)
4. Be a money-smart adult to role model it to your kids
The strongest message is not through our words but our role modelling.
Through your actions, teach your kids that:
1. You love what you do, and you do what you love.
2. You get handsomely paid for that.
3. You take what you get paid and save a portion, grow a portion, and live off a portion.
This way, by watching their money-smart parent(s), your kids will learn to be money-smart as well.
Want to know more about raising money-smart kids?
Click on this video, featuring myself and Gugu Sidaki (financial advisor and owner of My 3 Piggies financial literacy platform for kids) where we speak more about:
1. The concept of delayed gratification
2. How to teach your kids about budgeting
And, if you are reading this, thinking about how you can:
• Develop a healthier relationship with money
• Expand your money mindset
• Be more of a money-smart role model to your kids
drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a WhatsApp. I will then connect with you on a free discovery call to help you decide on an action step best suited to your needs.
From my heart to yours,