How I Raise My Kids To Be Financially Aware

 Donating these coins to a blind busker near our place.
I feel that once a child reaches his teens, he or she is already forming his own opinions of the world and frankly, even if you are ready to teach about finances, they may not want to listen.  So, I start my children young and do it through everyday things…

A simple example would be when it’s time to pay the bill after a meal at the restaurant.  The boys will get to take turns to tally the amounts on the bill, check if the prices quoted are accurate and to pay with cash we provide them.

This simple act of handling money teaches them three important things: 1) value of things 2) math or accounting and 3) being comfortable handling money.

In the process, I also take the opportunity to explain to them the idea of taxation.  Why so? Because GST and service charges appear on some of the bills as well.

As stored-value cards become more and more common nowadays, the traditional way of paying by cash lets a child understand that things are not “free”.  This, in the long term, may go some way in deterring him from using credit cards recklessly.

Also, by knowing how much say, a McDonald’s meal costs, my sons are able to place relative values to the items they potentially want to buy.

This is shown through remarks like, “Oh, that’s cheaper than a Mac’s meal” or “What! I could buy 5 Mac’s meals with that amount of money!” Yep, by now, it’s quite obvious my boys are that into junk-food McDonald’s meals, which incidentally, I do try and limit only to special occasions.

These are just some simple ways.  I will share more in later posts.

(This is part of an article which first appeared in CPF IM$avvy Blog.)


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