Developing financially savvy kids – what parents need to know?

In the last few decades, we have witnessed a major disruption with the introduction of technology. One of the biggest changes we have seen is in the way we do banking and finances. Customers no longer have to queue for hours at the bank to cash a cheque or speak to customer services; banking has become easier and quicker. However, individuals and families continuously have to adapt to these new changes in order to stay on top of their personal finances or get left behind.

Young people are most of the times the ones who are up to date with the latest movement and fads and are quick to adapt to these fast-moving changes. The big question is “Are our children/ young people ready for the finance technological world.”

Coupled with this fast moving technology, how do we teach them the basic foundational principles of finance before launching them into the finance technological age?

Here we tackle these two questions with a few helpful guidelines and solutions on how you can support your child’s monetary future.

Encouraging your child to open a bank account

A great way to start implementing financial principles to your children is opening their own personal bank account. Parents could encourage their children as young as age 7 to register for an account, at a family friendly bank of their choice in the UK.

The Financial Times stated in an article, “the youth banking market is huge — and it’s no longer just about saving up for a rainy day. There are 2.8m accounts held by those under the age of 18, and 750,000 new accounts are opened each year, according to figures from the Nationwide Building Society”.

Have discussions with your child about what the bank account is for and why they would need it now and in the future. It is a good time to let them know that you yourself have one and that it is a common requirement in today’s society.

Visiting the bank with your children

When visiting the bank encourage your children to ask the bank representatives questions about their bank account etc. Not only is it an exciting experience for a child to visit the bank but they will also grow in confidence by having the opportunity to speak to the bank staff.

Choosing a child-friendly bank account with online banking access is a huge advantage. With parental supervision, having this online access facilitates parents in training their children for when they are older and become solely responsible for their own accounts.

Pointing out the different banks in your hometown and also in other places you visit will allow your children to unders

tand how important banks are for people to do business. The same can be done with ATM’s/ cash machines. One or two of these machines can be found on every major street. Why they are there and what purpose do they serve? These are good discussion points to have with your children.

Demonstrating the basics of banking and technology

Parents should have a set time on a monthly basis to go over their children’s bank statements either online or physically. Whether parents give them £1, £5 or £10 a month in cash or bank transfers, your child will see this banking activity for the month and will learn how

to recognise and account for this.

Discuss with your child how a bank statement works, for example

  • What is their income
  • How they have spent their money i.e. their expenses
  • The debits and credits columns,
  • Finally the balance on their account

Helping them become familiar with these new words and their meaning ensures this will not be foreign to them in the future.

Additionally, they will assess the different ways money can be put into their account or taken out; be it direct debit, deposit their cash via visiting the bank or an online transfer.

Teach your kids how to save

Encourage children to save a portion of cash given to them by means of gifts, allowances etc. until they can deposit it into their bank account personally. They will then be able to check their online banking or monthly statement to see the new money in and feel proud to see it grow. This will help to develop the habit of saving from very early on in life, something even we adults may sometimes find hard to do.

Find fun ways of getting your child to file their statements neatly each month to establish the importance of being organised. This exercise should even challenge us adults to form similar habits with our own money, thereby helping us get on top of our own finances.

Talking ‘money’ with your children

Discussing money with children should not be scary! By having a constant dialogue about pocket money, saving, giving and spending, allows children to talk openly about money. Children often ask questions about many things. Establish the reasons why a household may use money e.g. to buy gas, electricity, food, rent if something breaks etc. This brings a certain awareness of responsibility and understanding as they move steadily from primary school to secondary school, from college to university and then onto the real world.

Becoming comfortable with money and the technological changes

From a young age, you want to impart financial principles to them so they feel prepared. Altho

ugh it is a slow and long process, children should feel comfortable speaking about money and the technological changes before they face the harsh reality of finances in the coming years.

Personal finances can be somewhat overwhelming but parents should reflect on the benefits of teaching their children to become aware and the advantages it will bring to their future. These are foundational principles parents should be applying. We will be digging deeper to offer more information and solutions on this relevant conversation. We are aware that children’s finance apps are available and there are some very good ones out there – we hope to tackle this topic in a future article. So do watch this space!


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