Ways to teach your child budgeting skills

Jul 2013
Ways to teach children budgeting skills
Good money management skills will be incredibly valuable for helping your child develop into an independent adult

Children may be woefully unaware of the amount of effort it takes to keep the family budget in check, but teaching them good money-management skills will be incredibly valuable for helping them develop into independent and financially savvy individuals.

To give your children the greatest chance of financial independence, guide them on the path to brilliant budgeting with these handy tips.

Give your children pocket money
Give your children a set amount of pocket money each week and get them to manage their own expenditure for leisure activities and treats. You might like to incentivise certain household tasks, such as tidying their room, helping with the gardening or clearing the table after dinner. You could also encourage them to draw up a schedule so they know what tasks they have to complete in the week ahead and therefore how much they will be able to save.

Help them to set up a bank account
Most banks offer junior bank accounts, some for children as young as 11, and giving children a debit card will help them to regulate how much they withdraw each month. A transparent rainy-day jar is an even simpler way for younger children to save their pennies, and they will be able to take pleasure in seeing the pot fill up, and also understand why the pot gets lighter when they choose to spend their savings on a treat. When they have a jar filled with money, you can then take them with you to deposit it in their bank account, which will give them a further sense of responsibility.

Give children opportunities to budget
Let children organise the food and drink for their own birthday parties, within a budget that you set. Take them to a supermarket and see what they come up with. Guide them in areas where they can make savings, such as looking around for offers and deals or buying in bulk. By giving your child a combination of different coins and notes, they will become familiar with the value of each and how to handle different types of money. They can also do the important job of checking you receive the right amount of change.

Encourage children to get a part-time job
You might like to encourage older children to start applying for their first part-time job, so they can earn money and put some aside for their future. You could also support them in drawing up savings goals, for larger items like a bike or a trip away with friends.