When teaching children about financial literacy it can be easy as parents for our budgeting lessons to principally become exercises in sniffing out bargains. At a time when we’re all feeling the pinch, this is understandable.

But as well as providing tips to help build little nest eggs, it’s important we help children understand what they’re buying and how just because something is more expensive, doesn’t mean it’s of better quality. And, what’s more, it is just as vital that we teach children the  hidden value in ethical spending, too.

Explaining what ‘fair trade’, ‘sustainably sourced’ and ‘free range’ means can be difficult, but at nimbl we think ethical spending is a crucial part of financial education. To help ease things along, we’ve listed some of our top tips for teaching your little one’s empathy with money, helping you to instil positive spending habits in your kids from a young age.


Introducing kids to the world of donations

Charitable donations can be a great way to teach children that their actions, however small, can have a positive impact. One handy way of teaching children about non-for-profits is introducing them to a charity that champions a cause they’re passionate about. For example, if they happen to be a turtle-lover who’s increasingly troubled by plastic pollution, why not suggest they use their pocket money to buy a product from a conservation charity, donating those few extra pennies to protect their seafaring friends? Or see if they can only buy bio-degradable products? That way, your child can feel comfortable in the knowledge that their purchase is going towards a great cause, all the while instilling positive values in their spending habits.

Making the food shop fun

When meals and snacks come in perfectly packaged bundles, it’s easy for children to forget about the lengthy process that precedes their arrival on supermarket shelves. Nevertheless, teaching them about the life-cycle of certain food products is an important exercise in encouraging children to think about where these products come from and how they are sourced. Next time they come with you to the supermarket, why not test out their food and geography knowledge? Asking them to guess where their favourite products come from before they pop them in the trolley can form the basis of a great educational game, transforming the weekly food shop into a fun activity rather than a chore.

The upcycled fashion show

With Primark a favourite of many teens, it can be difficult for children to make sense of the ins and outs of fast fashion outlets and understand how these brands make their cash. The next time your child asks for the latest on-trend garment, why not challenge them to try designing it themselves, and even suggest a fashion show so they can show off their new attire? Not only does this teach children the value of money by getting them to make the products they’d usually swap for cash, but for those mini eco-warriors it offers a great way to get them thinking about company values, encouraging them to prioritise spending their pennies with brands that share their beliefs.

Have you got any handy tricks up your sleeve to get your children thinking about charities and ethical spending? If so, we’d love to hear from you!

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