Whether you have kids or not, teaching children about money is a really important topic. It’s the only way we’re going to break the money blocks and limiting belief cycles that continue to hinder our success when it comes to personal finance. I truly believe that the more women there are educating each other about money, talking about it, discussing it with their children and demonstrating powerful ways of using it, we’ll all be much better off.
This is how you make your child wealthy.
I don’t have kids — but I do have a nephew and a goddaughter, and I like to take the time to make money an important subject in their lives. If you have children, I’ve outlined some ideas below for you to help them get involved with learning about money. Even if you don’t have kids, do pass this on to someone who does and can benefit from it.
Savings for Children
Savings are a great way to teach one of the most important lessons around money – delayed gratification. Essentially, they’re saving money for something a long way into the future. It could be for something in the not-too-distant future like a holiday, or a fund to see them through their university days. Or, it could be for a deposit on a house in anticipation of climbing the property ladder.
There are lots of options when it comes to savings accounts for kids – just search on Google for ‘children’s savings accounts’. Money Saving Expert has a really good blog about this, which is updated regularly and worth checking out.
I think it’s really important to build up a strong savings account for children when they’re young, more so because they have the advantage of time, and should make the most of it to grow wealth for their future.
Premium bonds are something I’ve gifted to my nephew in the past, alongside toys and other things he might need. They are a firm fixture in our family —and it’s something you could explore, too. Anyone can buy them as a gift; it doesn’t have to be a parent, guardian or a grandparent.
Divide Pocket Money into Spend Now, Use Later
Another great way to teach your children about saving is to encourage them to divide their pocket money/chores money (in whatever form they receive it) into an amount to spend right now, and an amount to spend in a few weeks’ or months’ time. It’s still teaching them a form of delayed gratification, but over a shorter period rather than years at a time. It’s a really great way to teach them not to spend every penny they have straightaway and will be an important lesson to carry through into adulthood.
As an adult, this is known as ‘ageing your money’. Basically, when you get your pay cheque, you’re not spending it all immediately; some of it goes into slush funds for you to use later on. That might be for things like clothes or toiletries, or it could be an amount set aside for car maintenance, or holidays.
Teaching Children How to Invest – JISAs and SIPPs
If you’re not familiar with investing, don’t panic! This is the perfect opportunity to start learning for yourself. When you apply the same principles with your own money to your children’s money, they get to benefit from the magic of compounding and time. Compounding is how money makes money on itself. And the longer the money is invested, the more advantage the child has.
There are a few different types of investment accounts you can open for children, one being a junior ISA (or JISA). As of 2021–2022, the allowance is £9,000 in a year. If you want to use the JISA for investing, it’s a great place to put money as it’s tax free.
The second thing you could look into is a SIPP – also known as a self-invested personal pension. It’s a pension that you can start for a child at any stage and has to be looked after by a parent or guardian until the age of 18. However, the child cannot access that money until they get to the age of 37 (currently – it may increase with time). With the junior ISA, however, they could access that money as soon as they turned 18 if they wanted to.
When you first begin your child’s investment journey, look for user-friendly apps like Moneybox, or Hapi – these will help you start investing for children with very small amounts of money.
Concerned About Handing Over Large Sums of Money to Your Child?
If you’re worried about handing over responsibility for large sums of money to your child when they become of age, now’s the time to teach them how to handle it. As discussed above, growing their savings can demonstrate delayed gratification. If you also show them what you’re doing with their investment account, they can watch excitedly as it grows.
I have friends who do this; they teach their children through very simple terms, like telling them they’ve put some money into Disney, for example. Referencing something that a child can identify with will pique their interest.
If you’re not confident with doing something like this, check out bluetreesavings.com, which is a brilliant resource to help parents teach their children about money. The founder of Blue Tree, Will Rainey, publishes a weekly blog which I’ve personally signed up for.
‘Happy Farmer’, ‘Sad Farmer’, ‘The Dragon That Pooped Too Much’, and the ‘Hammer and Rock Story’ are just some of the types of content I’ve seen. It’s a really entertaining, simple way to teach children about money. I recently interviewed him, so you might want to check out the youtube recording when you have a moment.
There are plenty of games you can use to teach children about money, like Monopoly. There are several versions, including a children’s edition. ‘PayDay’ was a firm favourite in our house growing up. This is where you have to survive on your salary for the month while encountering several bills on the way, and still have money left at the end of it. There are also apps like Savings Spree or Pigby’s Fair.
I do have a separate blog post on this which you can view here.
Children’s Cash Cards
Giving children responsibility for their own money can help cement the lessons mentioned above, and you can do this by giving them their own cash card. There are different types you can go for, including a few well-known ones like Starling Kite, and Go Henry. Generally, you are able to control where your child is allowed to spend their money.
For example, you could set it so they can use their card in a shop but not at an ATM. Or they can use an ATM but not use it in a shop. You transfer money to them (pocket money, for instance) and you can monitor what they’re spending.
Fumopay and Rooster Money are also apps where you can transfer money to your child’s account, and they can manage their money independently. There’s a lot out there that can help you to help your children be better with money.
Ultimately, teaching your kids about money can be a really fun process. Explore the options and go with what you think is right for your child; it doesn’t have to be complicated. Children learn about life through play, and they also learn through their caregivers.
Teaching them how to manage money well is an essential life skill, and it’s something I think everyone needs to take responsibility for. It’s our duty to learn what we need to, so we can encourage good habits for our kids, nephews, nieces, godchildren and grandchildren. It might not seem like a lot in the short-term, but over time, your Child’s money will grow well beyond anything we can do as adults. They have the advantage of time and compounding.
So don’t be scared to start them young. It is never too early to start off a pension or prepare a lump sum of money for the future. It’s the best start you can give your child.
Until next time,