Lemonade Money’s New Year tips to help parents improve children’s money skills

As a new year dawns, financial planning firm Lemonade Money are calling for parents to resolve to improve their children’s money skills and help their offspring be more financially-savvy in the future.

Lemonade Money believes it is crucial parents encourage budgeting and saving from an early age; a view supported by the Money Advice Service who reports children’s money habits are formed by the age of seven, yet financial education is not mandatory in schools until they’re 11.

Our 10 tips are;

  1. Play ‘shops’ at home, invest in toys such as a cash register and pretend money and stock shelves with everyday items – cereal boxes, sponges, kitchen roll, biscuits etc. This develops their understanding of the value of money and that goods have to be paid for.
  2. Set up a ‘restaurant’ with place settings and pretend-food/money. After the ‘meal’ present a bill, count out what money is needed to pay for it or ask your child to be the cashier and give you change. This shows that more than just goods have to be paid for.
  3. Ask toddlers to help cut out money-saving coupons (using safety scissors) and when at the supermarket, play ‘I spy’, encouraging them to spot the discounted products on the shelves.
  4. Supermarkets are the favoured place for temper tantrums, if you can, hold firm and only buy what is on your list, rather than what your toddler wants. This – while a painful process – delivers a clear message that money should be spent on ‘needs’ rather than ‘wants’ which have to be saved for.
  5. Buy a piggy bank and set a savings goal; perhaps for a favourite toy or payment towards a day-out. Discuss how if some pocket money is set aside it can be used for something special (a valuable lesson in our credit-dependent society).
  6. Reward good behaviour/helping around the house etc with a small sum of money. Use stickers as ‘currency’ and a chart to keep track of the total. This reinforces the understanding that money has to be worked for.
  7. Older children may prefer a reward system based on digital games; doing household chores unlocks tokens which can be swapped for cash. Alternatively the ‘chores’ could buy additional ‘perks’ (unlocked in digital games as levels progress) such as a treat, mobile phone top-up or meal-out voucher).
  8. Get children used to taking responsibility for their own money with a pre-paid pocket money card. Go Henry is an allowance card for children aged six to 18 with parental controls. It’s an easy and fun way to pay pocket money while teaching good money habits.
  9. Set up a children’s savings account. It’s a great way of showing children how regular saving can generate extra money through interest – up to 4% in top savings accounts – and the minimum payment is typically £5 a month, so it won’t break the bank.
  10. Encourage extra earnings; additional income can be sourced from paper-rounds, car-washing, flyer and leaflet drops (from age 13) working in a cafe/restaurant, hairdressers etc (from age 14) and babysitting (from age 16). Working outside of the home for an income prompts prudent money management and addresses concerns that two-thirds of 16/17 year-olds cannot read a payslip and a third have never put money into a bank account**.

With no financial education in primary schools, parents must lead by example and help their children develop good money skills. These learnt behaviours will be invaluable in helping young adults make decisions on everyday issues such as tuition fees, student loans, credit cards and phone contracts etc.

For parents who feel their money management may not set the best example, www.lemonademoney.com has a free Financial Health Report tool which outlines where finances can be improved.  Lemonade Heroes are on hand for those requiring additional support.

For just £49, the ‘Hero’ will undertake an initial 30 minute phone consultation, agree financial priorities, draw-up plans, monitor progress and provide support via email for a month.

About Lemonade

Lemonade Money was launched in 2016 to complement Lemonade Reward, an employee benefits consultancy whose aim is to turn the sour world of financial planning into something sweet.  From financial education to pension communication, Lemonade Reward provides a wide range of financial services for businesses.  Where it stands out from the crowd however, is in its delivery, using interactive tools to make what are perceived complex topics simple.

Lemonade Money follows the same ethos – it was designed to help people with their personal finances by keeping things simple, affordable and most important, useful.

 

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12 Comments

  1. January 4, 2017 / 09:08

    Thanks for sharing this, I am working with my daughter on that as well. This year, I am helping her to plan something where should could make some money with on one festival day. She is good at painting and she thought she might paint other kids faces 🙂

    I am talking to her about how she is going to purchase her materials, promote herself on that day and price her service .. excited to see how it goes with her 🙂

  2. January 6, 2017 / 11:14

    Working in debt management and seeing the amount of 18-21 year olds entering into a debt solution, financial education for children has become a major thing for me. It is vital they grasp the value of money as quickly as possible. Although, as we move towards a cashless society we are going to need to start teaching them about electronic money in their home shops and restaurants! Great post!
    David @ Thinking Thrifty recently posted…The Ultimate Tightwad January GuideMy Profile

  3. January 24, 2017 / 12:04

    Really agree, so important for children to learn the value of money, and to start managing their own money from an early age. My daughter now scans supermarket shelves for the price per kg so she gets the most sweets for her pocket money – great for her financial future if maybe not for her teeth!
    Faith A. recently posted…Five fabulously frugal things I did this week (21 Jan)My Profile

  4. January 24, 2017 / 12:12

    My son still likes to sit in the trolley in the supermarket but that does mean we go round looking at what it is offer! Quite often he says, “£2 is too expensive,” or “that’s not on offer this week.” It turns the shopping into more of a game and saves tantrums as he knows the value of money and what things cost.
    Ness recently posted…Vegan Date and Walnut Loaf CakeMy Profile

  5. January 24, 2017 / 14:04

    Financial education for kids is something I really feel passionate about. This is a brilliant post, Becky. I’m so glad you’re raising awareness and that Lemonade Money is on the case.

    Although there’s a small fee for the service, we use Go Henry with our girls because it is such a useful tool for helping them to understand about saving and spending. Before Go Henry the girls used to spend their pocket money as soon as they got it, or I’d forget to give them it for weeks and end up having to give them a lump sum!

    I wish there was an element of Go Henry that also enabled ‘giving’ too – charitable donations that is…Because its not just about saving and spending but about giving as well.
    Jane Taylor recently posted…Money-saving trick: How to get an NUS Student Discount Card.My Profile

  6. January 24, 2017 / 21:55

    I do wish I’d started earlier with my son. At least his lack of interest in money can still be turned towards good and not evil! He’s not bothered about saving, but he’s definitely not materialistic. It’s a great idea to get kids to understand saving and the purpose of money as soon as possible.

  7. January 25, 2017 / 09:22

    Great tips! I love the ‘I spy’ idea with coupons!

  8. January 25, 2017 / 23:34

    I think the name Lemonade money is genius !

  9. January 26, 2017 / 12:00

    Absolutely agree with you Becky – education starts at home. In exactly the same way parents help to support with reading, they are also helping with a financial education as soon as they help with learning to count.

    I think sometimes it’s getting ideas together about what things could be fun to do with children in terms of teaching about money.

    There is a lack of easily accessible resources on the subject, and as many of us didn’t have this type of home education ourselves, finding inspiration can be tricky.

    Thanks for the tips, we’ll look to incorporate them with our own 🙂

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