Talking to children about money and teaching them how to manage their finances is an important life skill. Despite this, according to a T. Rowe Price Survey, nearly half of parents confess to not talking to their kids about money, with a quarter admitting they felt reluctant to discuss financial matters with their children. According to the same survey, the children felt differently and were eager to talk to their parents about money. In fact, half of the children surveyed said they wished their parents would take the time to teach them more about money and finances.
In this article, we will be sharing when to start talking to children about money and why it’s important.
Should You Talk Openly to Your Children About Money? (Pros and Cons)
There are many benefits to talking openly about money with your children from a very young age. However, many parents are cautious as they don’t want to divulge too much information about their financial state in front of their children.
However, according to Mortgage Broker and MD Pete Mugleston at Online Mortgage Advisor, “sharing your financial successes and failures with your children is important for cultivating honest and open relationships. The more open you are with your own children about financial matters, the more they will trust you with their own money-related questions and concerns.”
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of money chats with your kids.
– Children are given the permission to ask questions and seek advice
– Talking about money teaches responsibility
– Children feel more independent and this helps them feel trusted
– You risk exposing your financial mistakes to your children
– You risk giving your child too much financial responsibility too early
– Conversations about money might cause disagreements or arguments
How Early Can You Start Teaching Children About Money?
You might be wondering how early is too early when it comes to teaching kids about money. Well, according to People Magazine, “as soon as your kids are old enough to spend money, you can start talking to them about saving it. Kids who learn the importance of smart money management early on will be better equipped to make smart financial decisions in the future.”
What age you allow your kids to start spending money is ultimately up to you. Some adults start these lessons very early on by introducing a small allowance or pocket money in exchange for chores around the house. Giving money in this way can help open the door for financial discussions early on, setting a positive foundation that will stay with your children as they grow.
How to Bring Up the Conversation Without Overwhelming Them
Sometimes, it can be tricky to know whether your child is mature enough to handle money, even in small amounts. So, below we have broken down some of the developmental milestones in children to help you understand what is best to teach them about finances and when.
3-4 Year Olds
Preschoolers are at a very influential age. They are like sponges, soaking up the world around them. When children are aged 3-4 they are still very young, so it’s important to keep any financial discussions as simple as possible. So, the best thing to do is start by teaching them the names and values of various coins and notes.
5-6 Year Olds
Between the ages of 5 and 6 children are in school and learning about numbers and gaining a deeper understanding of money through things like basic adding and subtracting. At this age, most children are starting to pay attention for longer and they have a better understanding about how money works (even if it’s still on quite a basic level).
7-8 Year Olds
This is a great age to start giving your child a small allowance. As soon as your child is receiving an allowance, it’s worth looking into pocket money apps like Osper and you can also start speaking to them about saving money and share with them how you’re saving for their future. Our app Beanstalk* makes it simple to save for your children and with it being on an app it makes it easy to show your children what has been saved and who by.
From our research, “fewer than 1 in 7 children have an ISA [even though] it can help give kids a great start into adult life.” If you’re not saving for your children as you don’t know where to start, take a look at our Introduction to Junior ISAs Guide to help you get to grips with the basics.
A good way to give your preteen financial independence, in a way that won’t either break the bank or completely stress you out, is to set them a financial task.
You could ask your preteen to organise a garage or car boot sale (this is also a great way to clear out their extra junk!) Letting your preteen lead the way with a task like this is a great way to teach them how to set a value on items, do quick maths, make profitable decisions, and even haggle with customers.
Many teenagers want to keep up with the latest trends, wear the latest fashions, have the latest iPhone, etc. this is arguably the age when you have the most family disputes about money and how or where it’s being spent.
Some teenagers will also start work and this is a great way to teach your teen how to manage their income effectively, such as setting aside money for savings.
As you can see, talking about money is something that changes and adapts as your child grows. We hope you have found this article helpful and informative. We know that talking about money as a family can be difficult, however we hope our suggestions will allow you to make financial topics fun and educational so that your child and grow up understanding the importance of money and how to manage their finances sensibly.
*Capital at risk. As with all investments the value may go up as well as down.