3 Money Habits to Show Children

Some habits that we carry around with us are best not displayed in front of the children but the 3 money habits to have around children are

Talking About Money

Sometime adults and some parents, stop discussing money as soon as children come within earshot. Yet, avoiding the topic leaves children in the dark and not just about the family’s own financial situation, but about financial topics in general.

Even if you are not doing well financially, you have had ample experience with money and can share this. The good and the bad, as any financial mistakes and successes are good to share with children. This will help them from an early age to think about money, ask questions and build the right attitudes towards money.

Talking about money includes teaching them to distinguish between needs and wants. Sentences like, “I need that toy’’ must be nipped in the bud very early by explaining that a need is something for survival like food, rent, clothing, health care and transportation.

And that wanting something that is not a necessity will sometimes be met with a resounding no (and an explanation for why it is a no). Explaining the difference, between needs and wants helps children accept the no when it comes and teaches them to make smart money choices.


The many times that a child wants an unplanned item are countless and that is why having a budget and involving children in some of the process is a good habit to start. After all the entire budget is a spending plan for all of the family. So, once in a while let them in on the plan and outline where the money will go once it arrives.

Sharing plans about any anticipated income and expenses can be a bonding experience that will teach your child to keep track of what is feasible and what is not at any given time.

As a budget helps the family plan for expenses, teaches spending wisely and saving for future goals you are setting them up for success in their own family when and if the time comes.

Having budget talks helps children be proactive when you go shopping with them as they will probably like to be in charge of the list and remind you about the money plan. It will makes them feel part of making the choices of what comes in with what goes out when you are shopping. As opposed to just following you around as you make all the choices.

At the end of the day you will make them see that financial situations good or bad are due to our own actions. This will in the long run, set them up for success later.

Living by Example

It is one thing to deny a child a want and then go on ahead and indulge in one yourself. Whether or not they are privy to the action or not, avoid it especially when it comes to your lifestyle; there is not one rule for parents and another for children.

It can happen very easily that you break under social media pressure and begin to spend money that you should not. If your friends go out every Friday, then you also go out every Friday, if your colleague at work takes a loan for a car then you also takes a loan for a car. If your neighbour goes on a road trip so do you, even if it means living beyond your means which is a bad habit.

The results of living by the social statuses can be overwhelming debt and you will be teaching children it’s more important to have material things than make smart financial choices.

Avoid lifestyle pressures and use any extra money or a salary rise to invest in something that will make you more money. Investing more rather than spending more sets your child up for success and gives a good example.

Also, please avoid routinely disparaging those who have more money. While the intention is probably to make children feel better about the family’s financial situation it can end up making them think that wealth is bad. This can result in them not aspiring to have more or feeling that more money will always be out of reach.

It’s better to have balanced conversations that discuss the positive impact of wealth, the responsibilities of having money and the potential pitfalls.

Avoid giving your child “everything” to make up for what you lacked in childhood. Buying kids whatever they want or giving them money whenever they ask for it leads to a sense of entitlement and the false idea that things will always be this easy.


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