Like a lot of parents, I’m super busy and don’t have time to trawl the Internet researching a topic, let alone understanding it in my sleep deprived brain fug. So I’ve done the work for you, condensing topics down to the essentials you need to know, plus more detail if you need it.
What You Need to Know
One of the concerns that comes up time and again from parents is whether their children will understand about money and finance when they are older. Teaching your children about money from a young age doesn’t need to be a scary prospect, and you will certainly be standing them in good stead for the years to come.
Here’s our advice:
You can start talking about money as soon as your child becomes a toddler and has started to develop their understanding of the world. Children of pre-school and primary age are so keen to learn and will soak up what you tell them. You’ll be surprised at what they remember!
It doesn’t need to be a formal, round the kitchen table conversation, just when you are out and about, or at home, mention your interactions with money. For example, in the supermarket, the fact that you have to pay for your food at the checkout before you can take it home and eat it.
If your children are older, you can still do the same, without it feeling like a school lesson. Just by talking about finance you are showing your child that it is an important life concept.
Adapt Your Language
When you are talking to your child, you don’t need to explain in full the intricacies of how a mortgage works or how credit card interest is charged. Instead, keep things basic and use concepts that they will understand, such as how much their favourite toy cost compared to a loaf of bread.
You can then move on to things like parents having to earn money through working, that can then be used to pay for food, drink, bills and treats.
Trust your child with some of their own money, and let them decide what they want to spend it on. This could be pocket money, gifts for birthdays, or money from the tooth fairy. Encourage your child to make a decision based on how much money they have and what they could buy. It’s also a great experience to get them to actually make the transaction at the till point.
This leads on to the important topic of saving money for a special toy or present. You can illustrate this with examples from your life too, for example not going on a meal out to save towards a holiday.
Although it may be too much for a younger child to understand, it’s really important to teach your children about what a credit score is, how it is calculated and what impact it will have on their future mortgage prospects. Their credit score is the one thing that will stick with them throughout their life, and not paying attention to it in their teenage years can be really detrimental later on.
Just Mortgage Brokers has developed a calculator to illustrate how your credit score directly impacts how much you pay back on a mortgage. It’s a great visual representation of the concept.
For more information and advice, Just Mortgage Brokers have some helpful posts on their blog.
*This is a sponsored post, opinions are my own