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Dollars make sense - Money management made easy for kids.

Financial literacy is an important life skill for children to learn early on.

Future-proofing their money management and giving them the skills to avoid financial problems when they take charge of their earnings and spending is very important.

Prepare your children to make informed decisions and avoid financial traps as they get into the workforce and earn money.

As the cash economy transitions to the innovative world of digital payments, keeping up with new technology that helps children learn about money management will bring long-term benefits.

 

What age should I start teaching my child about money?

Starting as young as five years old is recommended so children begin to understand how money works and how they can make it work for them, even if their income is just a few dollars of pocket money.

Research shows that young adults are often overconfident and underprepared when it comes to managing their money.^ They think they are more capable than they really are.

So, it’s crucial parents and family take advantage of learning opportunities to help children acquire the financial skills they need to navigate the world of money management while they are young.

How do you teach your kids about smart money management?

Children learn a lot from parents, including money management. Below are seven tips on how you can begin to teach your children about the basics:

1.Teach. Be a good role model and take opportunities to talk about money whatever the age of your children. They will copy you, so be aware of your money habits, your attitude to money and what your children see you doing with money.

2. Talk. Make money part of the conversation, answer their questions about how you manage your money. Spending, saving, borrowing, giving can be part of the family discussions. Maths is part of everyday life so make opportunities to talk about money as part of the learning conversation.

As we fast track to a cashless society, parents will need to shift towards a digital approach to money management with your kids.

3. Earn. Talk about where money comes from and how you earn it. When your child is ready (about seven or eight), talk about pocket money and the ways it can be earned.

When your kids are interacting with money from a young age, it is hard for them to understand the value of it, especially if it is usually given as a gift. Ensure all pocket money you are giving to your children is earned, that way they understand money is an exchange for the work you do.

4. Spend. Shopping can be a learning experience. Talk about the difference between needs and wants, why prices vary, how to make realistic spending decisions.

5. Save. This can be a difficult concept for young people to understand, especially in a digital world, so show them how to put some money aside for future use. Talk about saving in terms of future opportunities to buy things they really want. Include some ideas for education to get children thinking about future possibilities whether it is university or a trade.

6. Give. Sharing is one of the basic life skills learned from a very young age. Showing children how to donate to good causes and share some of their money is part of money management.

7. Borrow. Kids need to know that not everything can be paid for upfront, like a house, car and even education. So, while saving is a critical factor, the concept of borrowing money for important purchases should be included in their learning. Talk about the use of credit cards and how they can be managed to benefit the users.

 

How to get started?

Make the seven steps work for your family. From dollars and cents to ‘invisible money’, ZAAP makes it easy for children to understand how to save and spend in a digital world.

ZAAP is a visual tool that can further help your kids learn the importance of smart spending. The ZAAP App makes learning fun through gamification, allowing kids to see their spending habits, but also set and track their savings goals.

Parents can also view this information and support their children, suggesting tips on how to improve their money management.

Working together as a family is necessary to help our kids to become confident, independent and capable adults.

Find out how ZAAP can help you and your family learn valuable money management skills.

 
Reference:

^Financial Capability Among Young Adults. Annamaria Lusardi, Ph.D. George Washington University, 2014. Study to analyse financial capability among young adults, including indicators to assess important determinants of young adults’ financial behaviour.