Cooking meals, washing clothes and managing money are key skills every parent should pass on to their children before they leave home. One lesson we try to instil in our children is that you don’t get anything in life for free and neither should you expect to. As I wrote earlier this week, we hope to encourage our children to value quality of life over quantity of stuff.
As I went on to explain further in the comments, it is not about deprivation but about educating them enough so that they can make informed choices about how money is best spent. Encouraging a child to think along the lines of: “We have £100. We had to work x amount of time to earn that money. We can spend it on sweets/toys/clothes (insert object) or we can go go-karting/snorkelling/visit the Eiffel Tower (insert activity). Once the money is gone, that’s it. Do we have enough sweets/toys/clothes (whatever object) to not miss any more and to actually do something that will give us memories for a lifetime, or do we want more of (insert object) that won’t? What would I choose?”
Whether parents can comfortably afford to give a child ‘everything’ or not, it pays more to think about the expectations and character you are building. It’s encouraging kids to learn whether they really need something and whether it’s worth the investing the time it takes to pay for it. In order to provide the most effective financial education when it comes to money management it is important for children to learn the time = money equation for themselves.
In our home we have general chores that they are expected to do just because they are part of the family and we all live in the same house, and so we should all pull together to keep it looking good. Making their beds and tidying their rooms doesn’t pay, but if they want to earn money we’ll gladly give them bigger jobs to do like gardening or cleaning cars.
Here is where Qwiddle can help. Qwiddle isn’t a bank but an intelligent wrapper around a PayPal account aimed to make teaching children about money easier.
You and your child decide on a financial goal to aim for – perhaps they have been asking for something in particular for a while. Discuss some ways they can earn the money themselves and set the rate at which they will be paid for each task.
Make it realistic; taking the bins out might be unpleasant but won’t pay as much as cleaning the car inside and out! Set your rates accordingly and be reasonable in doing so. As they earn money they’ll see their Qwiddle account grow. Not only will they get a sense of achievement in having earned that pocket money themselves through their own hard work, but they will also view it differently. If they have been the ones to put in ten hours of work to earn £20, will they be so keen to spend it on that video game they were so keen to buy three weeks ago?
We find perspective often changes and they become more aware of whether they really do want something or not. Of course, if they do want to spend their money they can – after all it is theirs! Reaching their goals is also rewarded with the unveiling of fabulous deals in the ‘spend my money’ section of their account. But with Qwiddle children can’t spend without the parent’s permission – you, not they are in complete control of the account.
We think this is an excellent tool for teaching money management. Vital skills like budgeting, saving and even spending need to be learned early on in life so that, by the time they reach adulthood, making sensible financial decisions will be second nature to them. It also teaches them the value of diligence and hard work, of effort and reward, which will serve them well throughout their lives.
Qwiddle is free* to use and powered by PayPal, meaning it is completely secure too. Find out more over at https://www.qwiddle.co.uk. You can also follow Qwiddle on Twitter and keep up with the latest on Facebook too.
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