8 ways to teach your kids about money, with RoosterMoney

A family holding coins to learn about the value of money - Photo: RoosterMoney
“If your kids are old enough to know not to put the coins in their mouth, they’re old enough to start learning what the coins actually are” – RoosterMoney

 

At MAMA.codes we are all about Raising Digital Kids and recommending life hacks and products to make families’ digital lives easier. This month we’ve teamed up with RoosterMoney, the pocket money app, to bring you some helpful tips on teaching your kids about money from a young age. Plus a great 25% off member discount for their app.

Like MAMA.codes, RoosterMoney seeks to help parents prepare their kids for the future, equipping them with the core skills they’ll need as they grow up. Financial capability is one of those skills; understanding what money is, how we use it, and how to manage it can give them a great head start in life.

So with that in mind, we asked our friends at RoosterMoney to share their top tips on how to go about teaching your kids the value of money.

1. Start early, start small

We often get asked when parents should start, and our answer is always: as soon as you can, or as soon as you feel comfortable.

All the research points to children picking up money habits as early as age seven, or even before. That doesn’t mean getting them involved in the stock market! Start small and get them handling money early on – this can just be counting out combinations of 2p and 10p coins – it all helps pique their curiosity. As a general rule, if your kids are old enough to know not to put the coins in their mouth, they’re old enough to start learning what the coins actually are.

2. Reward Charts

Reward charts are a great way to get your kids started too. You can use stars to teach all the same concepts – you get them by earning and you can use what you earn to put towards something. You as a parent can set the “exchange rate” whether its 10 stars for a trip to the zoo or 5 for a magazine. The RoosterMoney app has ‘stars’ as a currency option for this very reason. The core lessons around rewards, saving up and waiting for things all still apply whether it’s stars or pounds.

3. Routine, routine, routine… and conditions

Routines build habits, and getting into a good pocket money routine will help make it easier to keep track and get into the habit of engaging kids with money on a regular basis. Agree some conditions upfront, around what your kids will get it for and when. Parents do that in lots of different ways but a popular one is using “good citizen rules” – get a regular pocket money amount if you contribute to the household and do the things asked of you, whether that’s keeping their room clean or emptying the bins! The other benefit of routines is they save you a lot of pestering and some money; it’s what we call the Pocket Money Paradigm! If you are giving money in a routine it means you can avoid forking out for lots of things here and there without keeping track, which all adds up!

4. Agree some parameters around how much you’re going to give

“How much should I give?” is probably the most common question we hear, but there’s no set rule here. One method is to give a pound for every year of age, so £5 for a 5 year old, £6 for a 6 year olds and so on. Another method is to work it out based on what you want them to cover with their pocket money. Is it just for their sweets on the way home from school or could it cover some of their Netflix subscription? Setting a budget can get everyone focused. You could also decide to use the Needs and Wants method too – where you cover their Needs and your kids cover their Wants.

5. Encourage earning

Wouldn’t it be great if money did grow on trees or in your pocket! Getting your kids engaged with the idea that they need to earn it will help them not only understand where it comes from but also build up a respect for it (and what they spend it on).  If you can introduce a way for them to earn their money, either through a Reward Chart or doing odd jobs around the house, your kids can start to understand the value of money! And as an added bonus, kids (and adults) always enjoy our purchases that little bit more when we feel like we’ve bought them with hard earned cash.

6. Put them in charge

The moment you empower your kids to make their own decisions you’ll accelerate the learning process dramatically.  Encourage them to think about the difference between a good and bad purchase by letting them make the call on what to buy – and yes that will include them making some mistakes, but that’s a great way to learn. Of course, you’ll want to give them some advice as they’re making those decisions, but ultimately let them made their own mind up – and if they make the decision to buy a toy that falls apart the next day, then it will be a hard lesson learned, but at least it will be a lesson that sticks! Using something like RoosterMoney where kids can choose what to save towards – whether online or in the shops – and puts them in charge of saving up for it, will start those lessons early while you keep a watchful eye!

7. Learning “Needs” and “Wants”

We touched on this earlier, but it’s such a fundamental lesson that’s it’s worth taking the time to have a proper conversation with your child about it. Yes, everyone wants a Playstation, but do they need one? Buying groceries might not be that exciting, but we all need them. You can make it into a game too – look around the room you’re in, or open the fridge, and divide everything up into ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. And when you’re out and about, if they’re really convinced something is a need, work out a plan with them on how much it is, and now long it will take to save for it – this can be great introduction into the world of budgeting at any age.

8. Talk about money

Saving the best until last. At RoosterMoney we firmly believe that the key to having a healthy relationship with money is to talk about it. Not just with your kids, but with your whole family. Talking about money breaks down barriers and can increase understanding. For the kids, it stops the “why does dad get cross when I leave the lights on?” and “why does mum get annoyed when we leave the door open?” questions. Show them the latest household bills, challenge them to find cheaper deals, give them your list and budget for the weekly shop – do whatever you can to build these things into everyday life. Building conversations about money into the everyday with help put money into context for your kids, and that will give them a serious headstart on their road to understanding how money works.

So there you have it. RoosterMoney’s 8 ways to teach kids about money. We hope we’ve provided you with some inspirations and tips to give some of these ideas a go yourself. If you have any questions, or suggestions of your own, feel free to contact us at hello@roostermoney.com

About RoosterMoney

  • RoosterMoney is a simple, progressive and playful pocket money tracking app designed to help parents teach children from age 4+ the value of money in a digital age. The app encourages families to learn together so that parents can actively educate, motivate and empower their kids financially and gives everybody the reassurance that they’re fully prepared for the future
  • The app available on iOS and Android as an app, or you can download it on Kindle Fire from the Google Play app store. More information and download links: https://www.roostermoney.com