Financial skills for kids the fun way

As a parent, in fact as parents, making sure we work on financial skills with our kids is an important part of our parenting plan and has been something we have focused on with them, since they were younger. We hope this collaborative post is helpful, if you are navigating that part of your parenting journey, or facing that in the future.

Teaching our kids financial skills starts early and doesn’t have to be serious or stressful. As soon as your children are old enough to understand the concept of money (my kids loved going shopping with me, as toddlers, and helping to hand over money in shops) you can work with them, teaching them about how money works.

financial skills

We went in stages. Counting and maths were part of the early years, and piggy banks and saving pennies or small amounts of money given to them.

When they were old enough we instituted pocket money and chores earned them cash.

Of course, family members gave them gifts of money, and both children have savings accounts that money has gone into.

They are aware of what credit cards are, that some people own their houses and that some people pay rent, what loans are. Both have done or are doing GCSE maths and understand percentages, interest, and how money works in terms of foreign exchange.

They also understand basic budgets, and now both of them have regular jobs as teenagers, they earn their own money and have bank accounts they use to put that money in or get paid into.

Schools do teach some financial skills these days (we didn’t get a lot of teaching on that when I was at school) but I think they could do more. But ultimately, we learn from our parents and family life is often the experience that bases our financial skills and knowledge.

We recently were chatting to our kids about mortgages and buying houses, a hot topic for many people these days as the housing market, interest rates, and cost of living impacts the choices people are able to make and whilst our children are not quite ready to look at this themselves, at some point they may be.

You don’t need to make talking about finances scary, although it is a very serious subject when equipping your kids for the world and how to manage money. I look back at my own life and wish I had been taught better decision making around certain areas of money, and I want to do better for my own children.

Finding ways to engage them and help them process can be challenging but you can use games and activities to start them thinking and learning and keep the conversation going.

I particularly like games they can play on the laptop or my iPad, that they think they are just having fun with, but actually some life skills are being imparted.

Mortgage Calculator has a whole range of money games aimed at kids (and adults, too, to be honest, we could all probably do with brushing up on our financial skills)

Safe and easy to play, with no adverts or dodgy links interuptting them, they are a great way to get kids using their brains to make financial decicions.

I am a particular fan of games where you do ordinary life, like running a shop or farm.

financial skills

Shopping games are a great way for kids to practice managing money, budgeting, saving, spending or even learning what not to do. We have all played Monopoly, but that isn’t really real life or normal life is it?

Making money part of maths lessons is something I do as a home educator. My son can plan a grocery shop, work out how much he has to spend, and then carry out that shop, within his budget. We also talk about cost of living, and things like bills, why credit is important but using credit wisely and carefully is vital. We talk about debt and what happens when debt can become a problem. They also understand the value of things and that earning money and saving it is a process.

It is a work in progress, and sometimes I feel like we are doing a great job, and sometimes I feel like I am the one learning financial skills lessons.

But it’s definitely something all parents should be working on with their kids. Sending them out into the world with no knowledge of how money works or the skills to manage their money is something that does happen to many children, unfortunately. I am hoping we are doing a good job for our kids that that doesn’t happen to them.

What financial skills are you teaching your children and how are you doing that? Feel free to tell us in the comments.

Posted in Everything else and tagged financial skills for kids, money management, Mortgage calculator, teaching kids about money.

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