Teaching our children about fundamental life lessons and practices can be difficult. This is especially true when it comes to starting conversations about money. You might be wondering; “When should I begin instilling these ‘adult’ values and responsibilities into my child’s life?” – to that, we say; it is never too early (or too late) to start!
With Cyber Monday approaching all too quickly, we believe that this is the perfect opportunity to start raising a financially responsible child. We understand that teaching children to be smart shoppers can be a daunting topic to approach, but have no fear – your guide to raising a financially responsible child is here! We’ve assembled a list of strategies that we hope parents will be able to implement into their child or teenager’s everyday lives.
Cultivating a Child’s Awareness of Money
1. Be a Role Model: Evaluate and assess your own spending habits
Attitude is everything. Remember that children learn about the world through us, and money handling is no exception. Be sure to set a good example by practicing good spending habits. Also, include them in your everyday errands, such as grocery, or back-to-school shopping. This allows your child to understand that your fridge does not “refresh” itself, and that school bags aren’t self-replenishing. As they get older, include them in your family budgeting plans.
2. Allowance: Provide your children with opportunities to earn money
Set up an allowance system with your child, we recommend giving them $1/week for each year of age. This allows for an increase every year, and your child knows exactly what to expect. Allow for opportunities to make some extra cash by doing exceptional chores – not their everyday ones! This helps children associate work with reward. Encourage them to save their earnings.
3. Value and Worth: Teach your children about the value and worth of money
Trying to explain to your child that every item has a monetary value attached to it can be difficult. Especially because money is no longer a physical object, but rather a shiny piece of plastic that you can tap. Once your child has a few toonies and loonies saved up in their piggy bank, have them count out five dollars. Bring them to a store and give them two items that are under $5, then, explain to them that they can buy one of these two things right now, but they that don’t have enough money for both. Avoid choosing toys as your items, try fruits! You’ll thank us later.
Teaching Teenagers to be Financially Responsible
1. Managing Money: Teach your children how to effectively budget
Once your allowance system is running smoothly, it is time to start teaching your teens that this is their budget. Start small, with weekly budgets, and progress into a monthly budget. Don’t increase the amount of money that you would typically give them. The purpose of this exercise is that it helps them understand the concept of budgeting their money and spreading out their expenses.
2. Consume Wisely: Encourage your children to save money
Once they’ve grasped the concept of budgeting their money, help your children understand that they don’t have to spend every penny. Encourage them to spend under budget weekly, so they can go out with friends at the end of the month or buy something they’ve had their eye on. Teach them the importance of only spending money that they have; it is all too tempting to go over budget in the middle of the month! However, this can lead to unhealthy spending habits in the future. Demonstrate the value of delayed gratification.
3. Set Goals: Help your teen set objectives and guide them to success
Give your teens an incentive to saving their money by matching their savings. Set reasonable but challenging goals and time frames to help motivate them. If it is in your budget, offer to match a portion or all of their savings. This strategy helps instil saving habits, even if your wallet might be a little bit lighter because of it… Remember to explain to your teen that you can match their savings because you have planned for it in your own budgeting!
4. Sharing is Caring: Show your teen the value of giving back
Teach your teen that giving back is just as rewarding as receiving! We don’t necessarily mean money, maybe you can offer to volunteer at a local shelter with your teen. Show them that unpaid work is also rewarding in a completely different way. We also recommend the “give one, take one” method; for every new piece of clothing your teen buys, they should donate one – this works with younger children and their toys as well.
5. Visualize: Work on a more significant budgeting project – make planning fun!
Whether your teen wants to open a bank account, buy themselves a gadget, or figure out how to buy a car, be sure to guide them through the process! Help them plan for it; How long will it take to save up for the object of their desire; What are the best deals; Brand Name vs. Generic; and all these other questions can help your child understand the value of these more significant expenses! Here’s a TEDx Talk that gives some helpful tips on how to plan with your teen.
Bonus Tip for Teens:
If your teen is old enough, encourage them to find a job! We can almost guarantee that once your teen starts working for their money, they won’t be so quick to spend it. If you’re looking for a way to transition your older teen into a young adulthood mindset, Laurus is officially launching the brand new C.I.T. Program! This program is set to begin in Summer 2019. Our primary goal is to equip your teen with a set of skills that prepares them for their first job. Our C.I.T. Program includes a Mentorship with a few of our all-star Senior Counsellors, a First Aid Training course, an 8-hour Babysitting course, a CV building workshop, and much more!
To find out more about our C.I.T. Program, visit our website.
The Laurus Wishlist: Our Top 5 Picks
With all of that said, Cyber Monday is an excellent opportunity to do a little bit of splurging without breaking the bank! Here are a few things that we’re looking forward to purchasing on Cyber Monday in hopes of finding a great deal! Every item here was chosen by one of our Laurus managers, so if you’re looking for some wish list inspiration, we hope that this can help!
Described as being the life of the party, this lightweight and compact Bluetooth speaker is waterproof. It has a 12-hour battery life, it connects to other speakers to enhance the surround sound experience, and it comes equipped with a wrap-around strobe light to keep the energy going!
This little device syncs to your smartphone and allows you to stay connected. It monitors your heart rate, your sleep patterns, your exercise, and sports, and sends you daily reminders to get up and move. What more could you ask for?
This Dyson product both smooths and dries your hair at the same time for optimal time-saving. It is more powerful but less damaging than a regular hair dryer. It is virtually silent, so you can dry your hair when the whole household is asleep without disturbing the peace!
For those that love to cook up a storm – this one is for you! It boasts ten speeds, 59-point planetary mixing action, and a 4.5-quart (dishwasher safe) bowl, which has enough space to mix dough for six dozen cookies, three loaves of bread, or 6 pounds of mashed potatoes in a single batch to help you whip up your favourite dishes and desserts with ease.
Our Wishlist would not be complete without something to capture the beautiful memories! This product is a portable and powerful, high-quality camera that prints your photos in seconds. These photos print in wallet-friendly sizes and are great for capturing the perfect moment!
Let us know in the comments below what your wish list is for this year’s Cyber Monday. Psst… Keep an eye on out for some awesome Laurus deals coming your way!