My oldest son is now 7 years old and Mrs Credit Card and myself have started to think about educating him about the value of money. Our aim is to instill discipline in him and to educate him that money has to be earned and spent wisely. This is what we have done.
We give him a weekly budget. But we only him to lunch from school twice a week. It is on those days that he chooses. Here are also several things we have done.
1. Explain why we do not want him to food from school everyday (cos he does not finish them most of the time). We take the time to explain that the prices charged for certain food offers little value and that Mommy can cook a better dish at lower cost!.
2. Insist that he save most of the weekly allowance we give him and we ask him how much he has saved every week.
3. Encourage him to save for things that he wants to .
4. We tell him that he cannot something unless he has saved enough. This we think is one of the most important lessons we want him to learn. I think many people have got into credit card debt trouble simply because they never had the concept that “you only what you can afford”. It’s pretty elementary, but we want to make sure he understands this concept.
5. One thing have not done and will not do is to reward him for doing household “chores”. We feel that it is his duty to clean his room and help with the household stuff and that he should not be expected to be “paid” for this.
I was thinking of making him to a little “spreadsheet” every week to highlight what he has spent, how much he has saved and how much does he have at the moment. But we both felt that we should hold that off for a while, perhaps until next year. Educating our kids about finances is something both my Mrs Credit Card and myself will do because it can only be taught at home. Schools do not teach them. I will periodically update all of you of our process and observations.