It’s every parent’s worst nightmare that their children will get into money difficulties in later life. As a mum or dad it is normal for children to come to us once in a while to have a bit of financial help whether it be for their first car, or a contribution towards their deposit on their first home – these things are perfectly fine and it is something that if parents have the money to do so, would only be too obliged to help.
What parents don’t want though, is their children to be coming every week saying they have run out of money and scrounging the bank of mum and dad for everything. It’s not good for anybody. It isn’t good for parents because they are continuously having to find the funds to bail their child out, but equally it isn’t good for the child because they are never learning their lesson.
So, what can be done? Do you abandon your child when they need money and let them struggle through on their own?
We recommend showing them how to manage their finances from an early age. It could even start with pocket money. If you start giving them pocket money for doing little jobs they learn how the world works. They do a good job such as cleaning their room and they got money for it. That way they learn from a young age that money is a reward for doing good work.
Pocket money could also help in the fact that they learn how to save. If you tell them they can save their pocket money up and then buy their favourite toy at the end of the month, this will start showing them from a young age that is they save the money that they earn, that they will be able to get the things that they really want in life.
It may sound simple but you shouldn’t downplay the importance of teaching them these simple tricks from a young age. It is at a young age that people will absorb the behaviours that they will use in later life, so it is never too early to start showing them the tricks of the trade.
Children tend to follow in the footsteps of their parents with regards money management so if you lead by example, chances are your child will have a headstart when it comes to taking good care of their finances.
When they’re in their teens you could also show them how you budget so that they have some idea how to keep check on money coming into their account; this is especially important when they receive their first wage.
A lot of youngsters new to the world of work will get their first wage and blow it immediately – this is to be expected and it is no real cause for concern. The time for concern comes when they are doing this all the time. If they do this all the time, it could lead to problems further down the line, but you have to remember that they are young and they will blow money occasionally.
All you can really do is lead by example and drill into their heads from a young age the importance of money management and keeping an eye on where every penny goes.
A lot of people say that youngsters should learn the hardway and learn from their mistakes. Unfortunately, though, in the days of credit checking, all it takes is one wrong move and one missed payment and their financial future’s could be in jeopardy. A steer in the right direction from parents will help. You are the voice of reason and experience after all. Do you best that’s all you can do.
There has also been numerous reports that suggest money management and budgeting lessons could be coming into our high school’s. This can only be a good thing. The sooner they get on with this the better.