As a Mum of 3 with 25 years in the accounting and finance game, it has become clear to me that children need help with their finances to become financially independent, successful and savvy.
So how do we raise finance-savvy children?
- It starts with you! Be a positive money role model. Provide guidance and teach them early to think with their head, not their heart. As some children are naturally more inclined to spend, don’t let them rule the roost with their natural inclination.
- Start them young by providing regular pocket money, helping to familiarise them with the concept of money.
- Cash is on the way out, so teach them how to use plastic, debit cards that are. There are great kids debit cards and apps available. Our family use Spriggy. You download the app and the children receive their own debit card. You transfer their pocket money and they make purchases on their card and transfer funds to savings and create goals. They and you can track their savings and spending. My children advanced in finance skills overnight using this system.
- Start on simple budgeting and build their skills so they learn not to spend more than they have! Planning is key here. Start by setting a budget for an event, ie, $100 for the show to encompass show rides, games, show bags and food. This is a tried and true method for me and lifts their money game.
- As they get older and more capable move them to the 20/50/30 rule and start adding ‘necessities’ into their pocket money.
- 20% for savings
- 50% for needs (the necessities)
- 30% for wants (discretionary)Work diligently with them to decipher needs v wants. Caution, the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is real, don’t let them be sucked into it!
Encourage investing early and diversification, ie, don’t put all their eggs in one basket.
- When they start working encourage them to put a little extra into their super each pay (salary sacrificing). Trust me, their retired self will thank you for it!
- Educate them on how credit cards, after pay and loans work and how they can be managed. They need to understand it is not their money, they will be charged handsomely for the service and minimum repayments will never pay down the debt.
- Finally, be open and talk about money including warning of the dangers and the opportunities.
- Don’t moddie coddle their finances, give them guidance but don’t control it.
- Don’t buy them everything they want – you can say no or make them wait.
- Don’t let them stick their head in the sand, they are not ostriches and it is their responsibility
Let’s create finance-savvy children, not only for their future but for ours!
Aly Garrett is a Mum of 3 and winner of the 2018 SA SMSF & Accounting Professional of the Year, Partner of the Year and Overall Excellence Awards. She is the founder and principal of All In Advisory and draws on over 25 years of experience to deliver customised accounting, taxation, advisory and cloud solutions for businesses. She is recognised as a leader in the cloud revolution space helping to elevate businesses to the cloud and deliver automation to future proof their businesses, delivering efficiencies and improving profitability.
The ultimate success for Aly has come about by combining her love for her work with her passion for her family & she has built her life around this foundation.