Putri Fitria | July 9, 2012
As a child, I was not familiar with the concept of saving in the bank back then, but my mother was wise enough to to teach me the importance of saving some of my pocket money on a daily basis in a piggy bank, which was forbidden to crack open unless I was finally allowed to break it.
Even on Eid al-Fitr, an Islamic holiday mostly famous for the day of toys for most Muslim children in my hometown. I kept my piggy bank handy everywhere. Instead of splurging the money I got from relatives, I would put all of it into the piggy bank, hoping that by the end of the week (Eid al-Fitr is usually celebrated for a week) it would be full and I could afford a new bag or shoes that I had been dreaming of having, with some toys as a bonus.
That’s how I got started into this budgeting, saving, and investing.
So how do mothers nowadays teach their children the knowledge of financial management?
Maybe you could try the following suggestions.
1. Communication. The most important thing is to talk openly with your child. Take some time to discuss money matters with them: about how to earn, save and use money; even how to calculate it.
2. Don’t hesitate to reveal your family’s financial problems. No need to be comprehensive and detailed, just explain the important needs to your child. In order to be more focused, start by explaining that there are many other things more important to buy, like school needs, food, and other household items than a certain toy.
3. Take your child along while shopping. Let them do the counting of specific purchases and analyze what is really necessary to buy. In this case, the lesson being emphasized is not about an economical way of life but rather a commitment to manage and sort out what item is important to buy and what is not. Let them find out how two products can differ in prices and let them decide on which item should be bought between the two.
4. Put a big inaccessible piggy bank in your child’s room. Your child will learn to withhold their desire to crack it before it’s full.
No problem if your child’s motivation to save is to buy a toy. Toys are also an important part in their process of growing up, but ask your child to save their money to buy their own toy. Besides practicing frugality, this savings activity will also teach your child to live independently.
All in all, you need to teach your child to save money early in life. You need to let your child know that wasteful spending of money won’t be good for their future. To do that, you need to set an example in front of your child so that they will imitate and practice it.
Be the role model you ought to be. Remember, everything your children will learn about money will first come from you, no one else. This is how their financial behavior will be defined.
It’s best to ask yourself: what did you learn from your parents? And what are you teaching your children now?