Money is a tricky topic to talk about with kids – it’s a subject that becomes central to our lives, even if we’d rather concentrate on other things. Helping your children to become resourceful and self-sufficient is a great way to take the emphasis off the importance of money, yet they need to have a reasonable understanding of how it works if they are to develop into responsible young adults. If you’re homeschooling, it should be possible to factor personal finance into the curriculum, whilst helping your young protégés to think about the wider implications of our money-oriented society.
Using metaphors is a wonderful way to get the main principles across without making a fetish of money. When you start them off around the age of three or four, they’re around the right age to start thinking about the concept of saving up for things. As a parent, you’re in a position to help shape the way they think about saving up. Rather than coveting status symbols (as you know, even kids covet their own form of status symbols), begin by saving together towards something that is useful or productive. To twist the old cliché, teach a kid to save for a fish and he eats for one day – teach him to save for a fishing rod and he eats for a lifetime. Naturally, if you have a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you’ll need to think of something more imaginative than a fishing rod!
This principle can be further developed as your little ones get older, and are ready to learn about earning money, making a budget, and how to complete transactions in shops and online. There is always a more responsible way to look at the manner in which we can use money than that which they will learn about on TV or in regular schooling.
For a guide to the basics, keep hold of this new infographic which lists the basic stages that you should factor into your curriculum. Money doesn’t have to be a taboo subject if it’s put to use with responsibility and care.