We've not been handling much cash in 2020, have we? At the supermarket, my kids simply watch me tap my phone and go, and it got me thinking about what this has taught them about the value of money.
After considering what we already do as a family and talking to a financial expert, I believe that these four realistic ‘rules’ are a great start for teaching my two boys about saving and spending in today’s cashless world.
1. Talk about money and where it comes from.
My kids are a lot smarter than I give them credit for, so discussing any questions they might have about money is a good place to start.
Firstly, they know that mum and dad have to work in order to earn money to buy all the things; and secondly, that the ATM does not just spit out free money – that’s our hard-earned dollars!
While almost four-year-old Leo is only just learning the basics, my eldest son Toby has always loved numbers. I remember taking him to the bank when he was five or six to tip our spare change into the sorting machine. He was fascinated when the machine quickly counted it all and spat out a receipt showing we’d saved hundreds of dollars.
More recently, we changed our bank accounts and began following the advice of best-selling author Scott Pape, The Barefoot Investor, when it came to our finances.
We set up a few of Scott’s suggestions for Toby such as the three-jar system of ‘splurge’, ‘save’ and ‘give’ to distribute his weekly pocket money into. Toby was so interested that he even dressed as Scott for this year’s Book Week parade!
2. Use their language - go digital.
Screen time is an ongoing issue in our household, but I have to be realistic that if I use my device for everything, my kids will want do the same.
While Scott’s jars of cash were a great way to start the conversation with Toby about saving, the practical aspects eventually crept in: we never seemed to have any actual cash to give him and so he lost interest.
What has made our lives easier and also more engaging for Toby is taking the chores and saving elements online with the Revolut Junior App and prepaid card.
After initially setting up an account for myself, I opened and then linked Toby’s Revolut Junior account to mine in less than five minutes before installing the app on a device for him.
In order to earn his money from the ‘bank of mum and dad’, I have set up four daily chores for him including feeding our cat and tidying his bedroom. When he checks them off as complete on his iPad, I receive a notification to pay up. I transfer the money with one quick tap and it’s in his account - he loves see the balance go up instantly!