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5 easy ways to talk about money with children

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Published on 03/07/2022

More than a quarter of parents do not talk about money with children. But that is changing with the cost of living crisis. A recent survey reports that 37% of mums and dads are more likely to discuss finances thanks to rising costs on the shelves, at the petrol pumps and for energy bills.

As families have to make tough decisions, it is becoming more important to talk about money with kids. The survey found that saving, budgeting and debt are the most discussed topics, as parents explain their reasons for cutting back.

Many of the 27% of those who don’t mention finances to children say they do not want to worry them.

However, some parents may underestimate the extent to which children are already concerned about the family’s finances. Recent research found around three-fifths (61%) of young people aged 11 to 18 years old worry about their parents or guardians not having enough money.

Talk about money
You could get older children involved in meal planning and budgeting (Alamy/PA)

Ways to talk about money

1. Talk about money when you’re out and about

If you are out and about with young children, talk to them about what you are buying and give them a budget to pay for items themselves. That will show them how important it is to choose carefully and make sacrifices to stay within your means.

2. Play shop

Set up a play shop using items around the home and talk about how much the items cost. This is a great way to help children see the importance of essential items and treats, and even teach them how to budget and get the best value for their money.

3. Set up a play bank

Set a timer and challenge children to do a simple task in exchange for some play money. You can give them the option of spending this immediately on something small at the pretend shop, or saving it. This can give you an opportunity to talk about the importance of saving up for something you really want.

You can even talk about the things that you are saving up for, so they can see that this is something that adults do as well. Depending on the child’s age, you can also explain how it may take you a little longer for you to save for certain items at the moment, as things cost more.

4. Read relevant children’s books

For example, Cinders McLeod’s Moneybunny books aim to teach younger children about financial literacy. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on books – visit your library, look in charity shops or start a book swap with friends.

5. If you have older children, work together to plan meals and budget

You could even challenge each other to see who can create the most cost-efficient meal for the whole family. This is a fun way to teach the importance of budgeting before they leave home.

 

Have you talked to your kids about money recently? What happened? Leave a Comment below

 

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