There are probably many parents who cannot help but spoil their children a little. Simply because you love them and you want them to have as good as they can. It can also be generally difficult to resist nagging or knowing when to say etc. Here are some tips on how to improve children’s views on money and finances and perhaps make them a little less spoiled.
Preparation is the most important work
The best way to get children to understand the value of money and not to be overly spoiled is of course to have this as a red thread through their upbringing and upbringing. By always actively weaving in the question of money and the value of money and gadgets in everyday life, one can slowly but surely give the children a healthy view of this. It can often take quite a long time to drum up a good understanding and respect for such unfortunately.
It is something that has to permeate most of what you do and it has to be consistent. Every time you shop (when the kids are with) you can point out prices and the value of food and clothes etc. It is good that the children follow and shop so that they can see where all things come from and that they cost money, so that things do not just “magically” show up at home.
Children who come along and shop can certainly try to mumble things like candy and other things they want. There you have to make sure not to bring too much. In some cases it may be ok but it should not be a habit to always give the children what they want, because then they learn that first of all that nagging works as a way to get what you want and also that you easily get things free.
Getting kids to understand the value of things is also part of it all. If they understand that the new jeans are expensive and that it is not only possible to get new ones as soon as they are broken, then hopefully they will be more careful with them. This applies equally to all possessions. Teaching them that everything costs money and that one must be afraid of one’s property does much to contribute to a general respect for one’s own and others’ things.
Weekly Money / Monthly Money / Manage Your Own Money
A very big and important part of teaching children how to manage money and the value of money is to let them take care of their own money. There are few things that are better for learning than practical application and where it works very well to simply let them handle some money themselves.
How much weekly or monthly money you give the children is of course a matter of age, finances and what you feel yourself. However, it is important not to give too much, as in such cases it will not have a great effect. If they can buy everything they want and do not have to manage their assets, then the lesson is that they can spend freely instead of learning the value of money and the importance of being financially.
A big part of managing your own money is that you have to learn different principles that will help you become better at managing money in the future. Things that you can learn from having your own weekly or monthly allowance are, for example:
Saving money – For those occasions when you want to buy something a little more expensive, where a weekly allowance is not enough, the child must save money for several weeks or months to afford the more expensive thing. It means that you have to have discipline and not do away with everything, but also put away some.
That you are sometimes forced to prioritize and choose – The money is rarely enough for everything you want to do and then you simply have to choose what you want to buy and do for the money and what you cannot afford. The child learns to pick away some unnecessary things to afford whatever they want.
That everything costs money – When you get things served by your parents you do not realize how much everything costs. When you start buying your own things, you quickly realize that everything costs and that many things are expensive. It is necessary that you yourself are the one holding in the wallet to start feeling thrifty.
Keeping a budget and budget – If you want to afford all the things you want to afford, you have to start learning how to plan and make a budget. It is one thing to try to say this to a child and another thing to let the child learn on their own. If the child is poor at planning their “finances” in the beginning, they will soon learn that a little structure is needed if one is not to be broke half the month.
Negotiating and arguing – When it is time to decide on a new monthly allowance or to raise it, which may happen annually, you can advantageously have a discussion with the child about what is a reasonable increase and why they should receive this increase. Go into the negotiations with a reasonably tough starting point and let the child practice arguing for their cause in a good way.
An additional bonus that comes from giving the child a weekly or monthly allowance is that you can place certain demands on the child in return. If the child is to receive their money, they may also have to agree on some conditions. These conditions may be, for example, that one should do some kind of chores in the home such as cleaning their room properly or taking care of the dishes etc.
An agreement between parent and child not only makes the child better at helping at home, but can also make them better at following rules and keeping their promises. If it is not cleaned as it should for a week, you as a parent can point to it and say that unless you keep your part of the contract then I do not need to keep my part and give you a full weekly allowance. Of course, one should not be too harsh, but it is good to be able to show that actions have consequences and that broken promises can be punished.
Be open with your finances and include the kids
When sharing finances in a family, it is important that both you and your partner are involved and have control of the finances together. If you have children who have started coming of age where they understand what money means and it is time to teach them about basic economic thinking, it might be good to include them a little too.
Of course, the idea is not to try to get them into the more complicated parts or to be involved in everything, but it may be good to talk to them about their financial situation. If you have a little less money a month or in general need to be a little frugal then it is good to include the children in this too.
They usually understand better than you think and it makes it a little easier to explain why they get a certain monthly money and why you can’t buy one or the other that they want. Children like being included and gaining the trust of their parents, so hopefully you feel they can be a part of something important.
In the slightly longer term, such a thing can mean that the children have a great understanding of the family’s financial situation and limitations, plus that the children also automatically learn a part about being financial.
Teach your child entrepreneurship
Many of the big entrepreneurs and the most successful were very forward and had a great entrepreneurial spirit as a child. If you want to teach your child similar traits, you can encourage them to find different good ways to make money. There are many ways to go – from selling homemade buns in the neighborhood to mowing lawns or selling Christmas magazines.
All of these things can help young people understand that work (and smart ideas) pays off and that you can make money in many different ways if you are just a little resourceful and willing to work a little. It is a great way for them to find a basic financial thought but also to understand that it can be fun to make money. Starting with something like this at a little younger age can provide knowledge and understanding that follows up with the ages and which is then left behind when the children begin to take care of themselves.
Children see and learn so was a role model
The fact that children see and learn a great deal and have the ability to look after their parents and other role models during their childhood is no secret. You have to be a role model in many ways and if you do not want the children to start doing something, you should avoid doing the things yourself.
It can be the same with money and finances. If you manage your finances well, are responsible and manage your money in a good way then this is something that the kids will speed up. Very many things that parents do are then inherited by the children. Parents who are very interested in sports often also receive sports-interested children, etc.
If you can have a healthy attitude to money and manage them in a good way and have a good economy, it also usually gets rid of the little ones. It may not be as obvious as an interest in sports but it is something that is always there and that affects the family constantly. You do not have to be excessively frugal or aim to create the perfect private economy for this reason, but it definitely does not hurt to keep in mind that the economic environment in which children grow up affects them in different ways.
Do experiments with children who have difficulty understanding
For a while there was a program on TV where spoiled children had to take care of the whole family’s budget for a month so that they could get a little insight into how it works financially and what you can and cannot do, etc. It was not uncommon then that the children put a lot of money on themselves in the beginning but over time realized that it was not reasonable and that there were so many different things to think about in a normal private economy.
I do not suggest that you do the same thing on this TV show. It was a rather drastic measure and it may not be entirely reasonable to implement in reality. However, the basic idea itself is not so stupid. You can advantageously do some kind of financial experiment with one or more children if you feel they have too little control over money and too little respect for how complicated it can actually be to get everything going around.
The type of experiment you choose and the extent of it depend on the age of the child in question and what kind of homework you would like to teach them. Basically, it is about letting the child handle some money for one or more months, and that this money will suffice for certain things (and if they do not suffice for these things it will of course have consequences).
It is expected that the child will not be able to manage the money optimally in the beginning. In the beginning, surely mistakes will be made and too much hybris and selfishness can make it less good. However, it is part of the process. Failing is a great way to learn. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way in order for it to sit properly in your head.
Do not give up on the child directly but let the experiment continue and explain constantly what needs to be done and what happens if you do not manage the money properly. Over time, I think the child’s behavior may change. When they realize the limitations that exist and what needs to be done. Maybe it takes a little time and is a little complicated but it may well be worth it.