Learning how to live a debt-free life is a lesson that parents need to teach their children from a very early age. Once you inculcate good values in the child, they will understand the value of every dollar they have, and learn how to live within their means. There is nothing like being too young to learn how to use money, and it is the responsibility of every parent to teach their children how to.
Teaching financial responsibility from an early age builds a strong foundation for the child and will eliminate financial burdens that could end up being your responsibility.
How can you start them on the right path?
Include them in drawing up the household budget.
Let the children understand the value of having a budget and why it is important to stick to it. You can even make it more interesting by allocating to each of them a certain amount and asking them to draw up a budget based on the amount they have. This will teach them very early that they need to be careful about their spending and avoid unnecessary things.
Teach them to stick to the budget.
Drawing up a budget is the first step; the second is ensuring that they stick to it. Include them on the shopping trip and ask them to pick only what is on the budget. If they understand from a very early age the difference between needs and wants, they will be able to stick to the budgets, and you will not have to deal with any tantrums at the shopping mall, from any of them.
Instill the value of hard work.
Start introducing the children to taking certain responsibilities within the house. It starts with taking the plate to the kitchen once they finish eating, to picking the toys off the floor, and leaving their rooms organized. Use small incentives for those who do their work well. This will make them understand that to get anything in life; you have to be willing to work for it.
Learn to say no.
Some parents find it very hard to turn down requests from their children. This makes the children feel that they can always get what they want and they do not learn the value of NO. If the child requests for something that is not in the budget or is expensive, simply turn down the request or ask them to save for it and buy it from their own savings. Once they learn that they cannot always get what they want, you will see that they respect what they have more and will be more careful about what they ask for.
Teach them to save.
If you give our children allowances, teach them to put aside a certain percentage of it in the piggy bank or you can open for them a children’s account, and encourage them to put something aside every week. Let them all have goals for their savings, it could, for example, be to buy their favorite toy or to go watch a movie in the theatres.
It is never too early to learn to live a debt-free life, teach your children the value of money from a young age and you will be setting them on the right path.