How do we teach our children to be financially savvy?
We’ve been reaping the benefit of a financial children’s teaching program for years. (This was the only sales seminar I’ve ever purchased.)
The program was hoping to teach me something about financially savvy kids and it has been worth every penny!
We want our children to learn how to run a household budget well into the future. We want them to make the best of their bucks. To save. To share. To entertain. To anticipate the future.
One day last week, our seventeen-year-old daughter was grocery shopping while I was writing in the café of the same store. We were out of town for the weekend, so she got to plan her meals, and we gave her cash to cover it. She informed me it would be a whole lot less expensive to buy blueberries, somewhere, anywhere else, because the shop we were in was expensive.
She has learned the value of a food dollar.
Of course, if you knew her, you would also know she spent nearly a year working for a large chain grocery store, so she might know the price of a few things. But I can also tell you she’s been grocery shopping for a very long time. Part of our homeschool experience is being part of the real world, regular grocery shopping with her siblings and me. Besides being excellent grocery baggers, my kids can also tell you reasonable prices for a variety of things we regularly purchase, and two of the kids can even do the entire shop by themselves. (The eldest has even done the entire Christmas list once).
We have worked to help find them jobs, and I don’t mean jobs that we fund around our home.
Outside home jobs that contribute to Canada’s tax plan and their (theoretical) retirement fund (political statement intended). One gal began a laundry at my husband’s work; this job has been handed down to all three girls. Then there is a monthly catering gig at my husband’s work. There was a part-time position at a grocery store bakery for one girl. A couple of mornings at a different bakery/catering company for another girl. There have been hostessing positions at restaurants around town. There’s been a summer position chopping vegetables and prepping cafe offerings. There have been teaching assistant roles in choirs and dance. And long before that, lemonade stands and garage sales, family theatre or musical performances, and anything they could sell, they would sell. Though, at the time of this writing, our nine-year-old was unemployed.
It’s not just the value of a grocery buck that my kids understand. The oldest three girls have clothing budgets. They have purchased their own electronics. They appreciate the effort expended to earn for their dance classes, choir, soccer, swim lessons, piano, and violin lessons.
Subsidizing extracurricular activities.
The financial training program suggests they earn their own money for extracurricular activities when they are sixteen, and be partly subsidized with a monthly allowance when they’re younger. Anything educational, or extracurricular, is funded through the discovery budget, that helps them discover the world.
Funding their own extracurriculars sounded like a good idea to us because I assumed it meant they would be more inclined to slow their lives down (the biggest benefit I saw).
Turns out, I was wrong.
They are highly motivated to take as many dance classes, choir classes, soccer, swim lessons, and the list goes on and on… The younger two have been less interested in the older kids’ activity levels. (And I don’t blame them, cause I can’t imagine those older girls’ schedules either. Actually, I can, because I am driving them to those activities).
Enabling charitable donations.
The program also suggests a portion of their allowance be given to charitable donations. We set aside our charitable fundraising mail and read it with them, asking their thoughts on where we should donate as a family, and they have their own monthly donations to give.
I’ve been surprised at the keen interest in the SPCA, but not so surprised at the World Wildlife Foundation interest, because that organization sends a stuffy and poster about said animal if we donate. We found a children’s hospice in a major city near us that is especially dear to my heart. Mercy Ships provides surgeries to ports in Africa for those who might never afford a surgery. Compassion International provides water sanitation systems for the developing world.
Enabling long-term and short-term savings.
There is a savings aspect to this financial program. (How could there not be?) Short-term temporary savings for those items that take more than a month’s payday to purchase, and long-term, big event savings plans, like college or a car purchase.
Because relying on a bank to provide an enticing interest is hard to find, some of our kids play it safe with bonds, and some of them know a thing or two about stocks and precious metals. They follow it online and have chats with dad on the regular.
Enabling fun too.
There’s even a fun account aspect to this savings program. Money was meant to be enjoyed too.
If you see me at a café, with the kids, but not buying them a drink, that’s because they have their own account for that. The Fun account could also be a swim at the pool or candy for a road trip. It could purchase another fidget spinner, giant bottles of glue, or $20 squishies from China (oh my goodness, don’t even get me started on that).
They quickly learn how valuable stuff is and how valuable it is not.
And at 18, there’s no payday at all!
(In fact, they need to pay their parent’s rent if they’re still hanging out at home.)
Hopefully, this is the beginning of financial independence from parents that have enabled them to live reasonably responsible lives enjoying the money they earn and using it with purpose and intention.
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- And you do one-on-one coaching too? Oh yes, I do & I’m happy to meet you.