What your kid needs to know about money
What is Money? Money is anything that is generally accepted as a medium of exchange and can be used in the settlement of debt Blanchard(2013 ) .Money is so important , other scholars or skeptics may even claim that our modern society worships money .Do we really worship Money ? society is shaped by ideas that suggest that Money is the fuel that accelerates the visions of institutions and policies , Money gives security , Money buys happiness ,Money makes the world go around. Money can be used a metric when we are trying to achieve a long-term goal both as an individual and as a collective. With statements like these one might believe that perharps we do priotize money in society. Since children are the future of tomorrow it is important that they know about Money. Why should our kids know about Money? Do our kids know about Money? What do our kids know need to know about Money? This article aims to answer these important questions and elaborate why it is important for kids to know about Money.
Kids learn differently, they learn through repetition, practice and through observation or unguided learning. From a scientific point of view, we are reminded that from birth to age 5, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life aand early brain development has a lasting impact on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and life. The quality of a child’s experiences in the first few years of life – positive or negative – helps shape how their brain develops. (www.firstthingsfirst.org). A Harvard study confirms that a major ingredient in this developmental process is the serve and return interaction between children and their parents and other caregivers in the family or community .It is safe that genes and experiences work together to construct brain architecture .It is the responsibility of adults and society to make sure that children know the functions of money and how money works . If kids are taught about money, they turn into responsible adults who can manage their resources. Financial Literacy and learning about money is also helpful to the economy .Different studies show that when people are more financially literate in a county that in turn increases the savings which then increases the investment levels and consequently the National output of the country studies like ( Lusardi, Michaud, and Mitchell 2013) show that when communities have more financial literate people The community at large benefits massively . Stressing the importance of Financial literacy cannot be overemphasized.
10 (TEN) Basic lessons to teach your child about money
Now that we have established the importance of financial literacy .It is now vital to establish what lessons we should teach children about Money .To be fair there are so many lessons we should teach children about Money however in this article we will focus only on the top ten things your kid should know about Money .
- Money is scarce
Kids should know that Money is scarce and that it should be used prudently. Kids need to understand at a young age that Money is a scarce resource that should not be wasted. Kids need to understand the Basic economic problem faced by every individual I.e. human wants are unlimited, but resources are limited therefore we have to constantly make rational decisions when it comes to how we spend money. Money should be worked for and planned for because it is a finite resource.
- Always make a budget
Kids need to know that a major part of financial success is attributed to how well individuals manage finances. Budgeting is very important, when individuals make budgets, they are able to spend Money on what is important, save, invest and insure. Kids must know that an individual may have a stable income but if they are not good at planning then they will struggle financially .A good way to make kids good at budgeting is by giving them small allowances and tracking how they use money by observing their budgets and spending habits.
- Follow Your Budget Religiously
It is not enough to just make a budget. One must follow a budget succinctly. Children who are great planners and effective implementers will result in financially responsible individuals. We must encourage strict Financial discipline and effective decision making when it comes how Money is spent by children.
- Only Borrow to invest
Children must know about debt .They should know that debt attracts interest rates .Interest rates are simply the cost of borrowing therefore Our children should understand that it doesn’t make sense to borrow for consumption .Getting a loan should only be used to invest in a project that will result in future cashflows . Children should be exposed to the harsh realities of borrowing without planning so as to avoid poor long term financial distress in the future .This lesson is very important especially as children are a in a time where consumerism has become mainstream and is being glamourized in pop culture and television. Only borrow Money to make more money
5.Have an Emergency fund or Emergency Money
We are prone to unforeseen circumstances and we are not immune to unfortunate situations beyond our control .It is always important to have emergency money or money set aside incase an emergency happens .Poor financial planning makes it difficult for people to handle unexpected situations like a car breakdown, Funeral , Medical bills , retrenchment or Job layoffs, to mention only but a few . When children learn that it is important to save for emergencies then when they become adults, they will not need to get unnecessary and unplanned debt to sort out an emergency.
6.Save for the future
Saving is important. Saving for the future means sacrificing current consumption for the future periods. As alluded to in point 5 saving for the future prepares us for unforeseen circumstances and puts us in safer Financial position. Children should know that college funds are important, saving for Retirement is vital, saving for Future plans is very very important. One-way saving can be encouraged is by making kids have piggy banks.
7. Don’t just save invest as well
According to( www.investopedia .com) An investment is an asset or item acquired with the goal of generating income or appreciation. Children need to know that saving is important but an individual must invest which means pumping current cash outlays to generate future cashflows .Investing is good because it means future incomes are multiplied .Investor and Author of book Rich Dad poor Dad Robert Kiyosaki (2013) stresses the difference between saving and investing and it is important to Invest and not just save .He stress that if an individual just saves it is counter productive because the extra income is diluted by inflation in the future . Inflation is simply the loss of purchasing power of a currency due to persistent increase in the general prices of goods and services. In conclusion when you invest you are in a better future position because you are less affected by the future inflationary pressures
8. Have Multiple sources of Income
Children must know that having one source of income is not ideal today. For starters having one source of income puts you in an awkward position when retrenchments or Job layoffs happen. Secondly in today world it makes sense to have multiple sources of income because prices are sticky downwards meaning most of the times prices increase instead of decreasing and incomes or salaries are sticky upwards meaning that salaries seldomly increase therefore it is wise to have more than source of income to be in a better financial position .
9. Avoid get rich quick schemes
Financial protection is very important. Children need to be taught that get rich quick schemes are dangerous. Money is scarce and should be worked for therefore children should be protected from financial fraud and Ponzi or pyramid schemes. Often times when something seems too good to be true then it usually is too good to be true .Children need to learn to avoid investing in activities that promise a quick payoff without showing a layout of how that money is being made .Another activity that should be discouraged is gambling whether it is gambling in the casino or sports betting ,gambling promises a quick return but it is very addictive , risky and counterproductive .Our children should also know that they should not engage in illegal activities so as to rich quickly .A wise saying goes quick money earned equals quick money lost .
10. DON’T worship Money
Last but not the least kids need to understand that Money is Important but it is not the most important thing in life .Therefore children need to know that Money isn’t everything there is definitely more to life like valuable relationships , Family life , love , a peace of mind etc. .We need to teach Children that even if Money gives us the promise of a better life it doesn’t mean that we should spend every minute of our finite lives stressing about money .In conclusion we are obligated to teach our children to not be greedy and always aspire to have more money instead let us teach them to make responsible decisions and be content with they have so that they can share with the people around them in need .
In conclusion ,Every kid should know those 10 simple things about Money .It is our responsibility to give our children a better society and a better future however if we let them have misguided views about money then we will continue the cycle of financial distress .So the challenge is upon us in whatever capacity we are in whether at School ,home , church etc. let us invest in teaching children about good money habits because kids should know about money to become better adults .It is better to build more productive kids than to repair misguided adults ,when we teach our kids about money they will teach their children’s children and our communities as we know them will become sustainable .