There are financial lessons we all wished we had learned earlier. Teaching your child financial literacy while they are young is how you can do this, especially when you introduce some practical fun activities that can help them grasp financial concepts. Here is how you can start making financial literacy fun to learn.
Grade 1 – 2
The best time to teach your child money lessons is now. It is also important to take into consideration how each child prefers to learn. While reading a story will work for one child, a more hands-on approach may be something that works better for another. Teach them the value of money through these activities:
Home-made money. Have a craft session where they release their creativity by creating their own money. Encourage them to assign a value that is similar to the Rand to help them grasp the concept of how each number holds a different value.
Barter game. Once they have made their own money, switch to playing a game where they get to use their bills to buy things such as toys, candy or items around the house. It will help them grasp the value of money.
Savings jar. Introducing the concept of saving and delayed gratification when it comes to spending through a savings jar is one way to teach them one of the foundations of financial literacy. Help them D.I.Y their own savings jar in a style they would like. Add stickers to represent savings goals. Make it visual by printing out stickers that represent a goal they want to reach for each level to encourage them to achieve.
Learning needs from wants. Differentiating between needs and wants makes it easier to make important decisions. It also teaches your child how to not make impulse purchases that could end up hurting them. Help them make their own budget for things that they want and need. Take them shopping according to what they have budgeted for and let them understand why they cannot get a certain item if it exceeds their budget. It may be tempting to bail them out, but it is important to let your child make their own mistakes and learn from them.
Earning their own bucks. Earning an additional stream of income instead of waiting for their pocket money can help your child learn to be proactive by thinking outside of the box. Start to introduce tasks that they can do around the house that will help them earn money. You can also encourage them to start a business they enjoy by helping them set it up. While guiding them through this activity is important, it is vital to not adopt the style of being a helicopter parent. It's all about making mistakes and learning from them.
Creating financial goals. Your child has dreams and goals which they would like to achieve and what better way to do this is by helping them come up with short- and long-term financial goals that can help them get there. Creating a vision board that they can have placed in their room as a reminder to keep going and a checklist for themselves on their short-term goals can build their financial muscles.
Cash advances. Teaching your child smart borrowing can help them avoid the debt trap that many South African's find themselves in. The aim is to teach them not to borrow more than they can afford and also teach them when to borrow money and when not to. Set a lending limit that you are willing to give to them each month for them to use. However, inform them that should they borrow money in advance it will attract an interest rate that they will have to pay back.
Learning to earn interest. By now they should have their own bank account in which they can start saving or earning their own money. Show them the importance of earning interest on their savings by looking at different accounts. Having a visual representation of how having an account that has compound interest will benefit them can also make the decision easier for them.