Financial education is coming to your child’s school this September. However, it goes without saying, parents are still the biggest influencers on children’s learning. So what are the best ways you can help? Here’s how to continue financial education from the classroom and into your home.
Step 1: The weekly shop
Children aged 7-11 will be taught financial education as part of the Maths curriculum using pounds and pence in measurement and fractions. A great (and simple) task to help your children get to grips with currency, is to give them the change you have in your pocket and ask them to give you a total, say two pounds, in different combinations of coins.
For parents that are always doing three things at once (so that’s everybody then) this can be done during a trip to the supermarket. Everything that they want to put into the trolley, they have to find the right amount of change for.
Step 2: Shopping around
From age 11 children are taught about finance in PSHCE lessons alongside the continued financial application of maths. A focal point of this is responsible spending and the difference between needs and wants. When buying a household item set your children about researching what percentage saving can be made by buying a cheaper alternative. By encouraging kids to weigh up whether your family really needs the top of the range product you demonstrate how to make responsible financial decisions.
Step 3: Saving to spend
Another key area of learning is managing income and expenditure, a fact of life for any parent. To engage your children with budgeting, make it fun by offering a financial incentive. The next time they ask for something, encourage them to write a budget involving regular savings up to the cost of the product. They can do this and track their progress using visual saving graphs using the goHenry app. If they keep to their saving targets, you could reward them by paying their last week’s instalment for them.
Step 4: Financial role model
For teens aged 14-16, involving them in family finances will give them a great insight into the cost of living. Involve them in calculating the total bill payments, mortgage payments and how this works over time. Show them how you budget for them and any siblings. Giving them these sort of insights from the person they look up to the most will help make a major impact on their understanding of money and what they’ve been learning in the classroom.