How do you talk to your children about money?

When I moved to Peterborough over 10 years ago to start a new life I had a rather large debt hanging around my neck.  It was a culmination of things which had led to the debt but I’m proud to say that I paid it off.  At the time when I told my Mum about my debt I remember how worried she was and (as usual) what a great source of support she was.

Money saving

I had my first Saturday job when I was 14 and initially I managed my money well, my problems began after I bought my first car and then I received some less-than-perfect advice from my Bank Manager and it all kind of spiralled from there.  Now I’m the parent, I’m beginning to understand just an ounce of the worry that my Mum must have gone through because the Beans have never really had a clue about money.  Because of the nature of blogging they are often given beautiful gifts when attending events so they think it’s the norm, then you add to that the items that we receive for reviews and you having the perfect ingredients for some rather spoilt children.  Obviously over time we have learnt how to manage reviews with them and last year during the summer holidays I tried something different.

Having four children it isn’t cheap to have days out and we can’t afford to buy lots of expensive souvenirs so at the start of the Summer the Beans were each given Summer spending money made up from pennies in their moneyboxes and holiday pennies from ourselves and Grandparents.  They were told that this money was all that they would have for the Summer holidays, they could spend it however they wanted to BUT once it was gone, it was gone.  We would buy treats like ice creams and sweets for good behaviour but the rest was down to them.  They each had £60 to spend and I was shocked that at the end of 6 weeks they all still had more than £10 left.  On days out they would inevitably want to buy something and would ask how much things were and how much they would have left and that’s when the magic happened.  They started to realise how quickly their money would disappear and would change their minds about their purchases, either not buying an item at all OR choosing something cheaper.  We have carried on doing this with their money and they definitely don’t ask to buy things as much as they used to so I’m hoping we have started a good regime with them.

Research recently undertaken by the Money Advice Service has shown that talking to children about money from an early age can give them a good understanding and relationship with money later in life but taking those initial steps to starting the conversation can be difficult.

58% of parents find it difficult to talk to their child about money matters

52% say they regularly discuss money with their children

43% feel children shouldn’t have to worry about money

26% feel awkward about discussing money with anyone – let alone their children

19% say their parents never gave them money advice

We haven’t actually started to give any of our Beans pocket money yet but it’s something we have been discussing as we think it’s a good idea for them to have control of money instead of being ‘given’ everything that they need but I was startled to read that Pocket Money increases by 18% each year starting at around £7.01 per week for 11-12 year olds.  You can read the full release here.

Have you taken the plunge and discussed money with your children yet or do you keep brushing it under the carpet waiting for a better time?  Do you have any advice on how best to approach  the subject, any tried and tested methods?  Please leave a comment below I’d love to know and be able to share it with my readers . . .

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