It’s official – schools are back! With kids returning to the classroom this week, lots of families may be grappling with getting back into the school routine. But along with all the natural excitement of being able to see friends and teachers again, it’s important that one valuable lesson doesn’t slip to the bottom of the list – managing pocket money.
Having spent the past few months stuck indoors, it might be tempting for children to blow their lockdown savings on the way to and from school. That’s why now is the perfect time for parents to start some important conversations with their children on budgeting and how to spend money safely and responsibly. Here are our top tips and tricks for helping them to become masters of money:
Switch up the lingo. For many kids, the term ‘pocket money’ implies a weekly or monthly treat to be spent on goodies, rather than something that should be carefully saved and budgeted – which is especially confusing in a cashless world.
To challenge this mentality, try switching the term “pocket money” for “allowance” – not only will this encourage them to see it as a resource to help support their needs and expenses, it offers them a taste of responsibility over their finances, getting them to think more carefully about their purchases.
Make it real. Children learn best by doing, so applying good money management lessons to real-life scenarios is a great way of consolidating skills. Why not set them the challenge of dividing their money up into three sections for the rest of the school term: a third for savings, a third for donating to a worthwhile charity, another third for whatever they like? As well as being a fun, practical way of learning restraint with money, having a pot of savings to help tide them over until the Easter break teaches them that saving really does pay off in the long-term.
Let them take the wheel. We all know kids love being in the driver’s seat, and when it comes to money, introducing responsibility from a young age is key. Why not start the week by putting a nominal sum of money on their card and encourage them to use their budgeting skills to make it stretch the whole week? By doing so, you’ll begin to nurture positive money habits early, setting them up perfectly for becoming financially confident young adults.
Money is a daily part of adult life, and learning how to manage it is inevitably a skill all of our children will have to master at some point in their lives – hence why the return to school is such a great opportunity to refresh their learning. And we’re all hopeful that it’s not too long before they can safely try out these new-found skills in real-life shopping scenarios… fingers crossed!