Category: Money matters

Raising Financially Savvy Tweens

Raising Financially Savvy Tweens

The annual visit to the hometown means the children come back loaded with cash. That their birthday is round the corner and that this is the only opportunity for both sets of grandparents to pamper them silly, makes it only worse.

Last year they collected huge amounts of money from various relatives and then had huger arguments over what was to be done with it. I vetoed all their plans and amidst an epic battle deposited it all in the bank.

This year I categorically banned everyone at home from giving them cash. And if someone (who I wasn’t able to intimidate) did hand them some, I appropriated it right away and directed it into their accounts.

Very high handed of me, I know. But I do dislike the constant obsessive discussions about money with little thought for saving.

When the children were younger I tried to get them to save but it didn’t quite work out. And I gave up on the idea.

As they turn eleven perhaps this is the right time to give the money thing another serious shot. I’ve considered giving them pocket money as also paying them for household chores but I’ve not been able to work out the How of it. The questions that bother me are:

How much and how frequently should they get pocketmoney?
Also, how do we demarcate what it should be used it for?
Should I pay them for household chores?
If I do, how do I prevent them from putting a price on ALL household chores?
Or refusing the ones they aren’t paid for?

After much research and thought here are ideas that I think might work for me:

1. Start giving them pocket money (a small amount maybe Rs50 or Rs100 a month). They can use it for candies or small stationery. As I see it, that is all they should need to shop for on their own.

2. Make a Spending Jar and a Saving Jar. I loved the concept. To prod them towards saving I will offer to double whatever their Saving Jar has at the end of the month. Also, whatever goes into the Saving Jar goes straight to their accounts unless they need the money for a specific purpose like a birthday or an anniversary.

3. Take them to the bank and let them handle their Pass Books so they feel a sense of ownership for the money rather than thinking, ‘Mum took it away’.

4. Make them my Financial Assistants: Let them participate in day to day handling of money – for instance when we go grocery shopping or out to places like McDonald’s. They can do the Math, pay the bill and give me an account.

5. Our apartment complex lets kids put up stalls for Children’s Day. So they could put up a stall and try to work out the Profit/Loss. We used to have things like this in school where we’d put up stalls of Bhelpuri or Aaloo chaat – simple things that we could make and sell. In fact, it isn’t a bad idea to get more children involved in this initiative.

6. Involve them in household budgeting, specially for special events. I intend to start right away with their birthday – planning the expenses and deciding how much should be spent on what.

This post is rather exploratory and I know this really isn’t enough but I hope to make a start. I’d love to hear your views on how you get your children to understand about spending and saving. Have any of you tried paying them for household chores? What kind of chores did you give them? Was it a monthly thing? How did you handle it if they missed a day or a few days?

I’d love for you to share.

 

Linking up with  Kreative Mommy for her #MondayMommyMoments. Do drop by for ideas from other mums.
Kreativemommy.com