One of the reasons Canadians find themselves struggling with debt is a general lack of financial literacy. The recent announcement that financial literacy has been added to the high math school curriculum in BC is welcome news, but we believe the development of a good relationship with savings and debt can start at a much younger age.
Help your kids avoid trouble with money in the future by teaching good money habits in your everyday life.
Make Shopping a Family Occasion
Though it can be a pain to take children shopping when you can just as easily leave them at home, it’s important to do it once in a while so they can observe budgeting and delayed gratification in action. Showing them how to read unit prices to get the best value at the grocery store is a lesson that can stay with them forever, and it gives a real-world example of balancing wants vs. needs. When your children see you make decisions on the fly about the cost of items at the store and the effect it has on the family budget, they’re learning what to do in a similar situation when they’re out on their own.
Provide Some Autonomy
By starting with a small allowance at a young age, children are given some measure of control over their financial lives, and experience really is the best teacher. There is nothing quite like the sense of pride that comes from saving up to buy a treasured toy or game. Likewise, the disappointment that comes from learning that purchasing that wish-list item means there is no money left for a trip to the candy store later in the week is an important lesson.
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Family Finances
Whether or not they do it consciously, every family lives with four basic principles of financial management: earn, spend, save, and donate. When we speak openly about financial sacrifices and long-term money goals, we teach important lessons about being wise with money. When it comes to money and financial management, leading by example can be one of the greatest gifts we give our children.
If you struggle with your finances because you never learned how to manage money, we can help. Through our proven budgeting techniques, we can even help you get out of debt. Those in the BC interior will find our offices easily accessible in Kamloops and Kelowna. Contact us today to learn effective strategies to relieve your debt burden and effectively manage your money.