MANILA - April is financial literacy month and where better to start teaching the value of money than at home? If you’re thinking when is the best time to do so – our advice is it’s never too early to teach your children about the value of money.
Even when they’re young, children should have an idea that money does not literally grow on trees, or gets magically coughed out of the ATM machine, without having to work for it.
Early on, you want your children to know that money is earned, and that it should be handled responsibly. They should also grasp the concept that most material things carry a certain monetary value.
Teaching your children about finances is a long process that he or she will take with them until they begin to earn their own money. Here are seven activities you can do to help widen their understanding of money:
1. Download money apps and games. Today’s kids are digital natives, so make the internet your ally. There is a wide assortment of money apps and games that will teach them about the concept of money. In some of these games, they will need money to purchase tools that they need to advance to the next level, but they can only raise money by working. For best results, make sure you review the apps and games before you share with your kids.
2. Make story time about saving money. Books are also a great way to teach your kids about the concept of money and being responsible about it. Your kids will be able to relate to the characters and learn in a fun way. Alternatively, tell them about the stories of successful Filipino entrepreneurs who were able to attain success through the dint of hard work. Stories like this are bound to be remembered and will hopefully inspire your child.
3. Tour the money museum. Give your children a glimpse into the whole process of making money, as well as its evolution, by visiting the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas museum. This will also give your child a better understanding of the connection between money and government. Make sure to show your child the different bill designs throughout the years, which will double as a history lesson.
4. Show off at the grocery. The most practical way to let your children understand the concept of money is to let them experience handling it. Give your child a small amount – say P100 – and let her or him experience buying stuff they like within that budget. This is also a great way to let your child know how to deal with the store clerk, and introduce to them the concept of paying money and receiving change in return.
5. Let them earn money. Teach your child early on that money is not an entitlement, but something that has to be earned. You can do this by letting him or her earn money in exchange for completing certain tasks that are normally not part of their daily routine. For instance, you can let your child help out in cleaning the car, or in putting away things in the kitchen.
6. Start with a piggy bank. This early, your child has to realize that money has to be saved over a period of time. With a piggy bank, he or she will learn the concept of saving. They will realize that money does not come as a windfall, but grows in increments, usually small. Choose some of the piggy banks that keep both bills and coins, and teach them to always put their savings there. This practice will also introduce the child to the concept of safekeeping money.
7. Visit the bank. Next time you go to the bank, take your child with you so that she or he will see how people safe keep money. You may even opt to open a bank account from your child’s savings as some banks allow children to open a bank account. While in the bank, you may also wish to point out the foreign currency converter, so that your child will have an idea of the different currencies used around the world. Show your child the brochures of the products being offered by the bank, and allow him or her to observe what people are doing so he or she can understand that a bank serves many purposes.
Think they enjoyed all that? A good way to check is to ask your child to help you with the household budget. Show your child a simple daily budget for your household, such as the one for food or for entertainment. Then show how this budget is being consumed during the day.
Ask for suggestions on how your child thinks you can cut back or use your budget wisely. This exercise will let him or her know the importance of discipline and practicality in managing one’s money. It will also inspire your child not to wasteful about consuming household resources – like food or soap.
Studies show that the Philippines is one of the 30 least financially literate countries in the world and that only 25 percent of adults know about the basics of money management. Do your part and start teaching your kids about money management at a young age. Not only will they grow up to be financially responsible adults, but they may even be a positive influence and be a shining example to their peers.
Grow Your Money is an editorial partnership between news.abs-cbn.com and Citi Philippines to promote financial education and provide helpful information to Filipinos on how to better manage their personal finances.
Visit www.citibank.com.ph for more information.