TEACHING MONEY VALUES

teaching money valuesMoney plays an important part in our lives. It is essential that a child must be taught correct money values because the lessons learnt as a child last a lifetime. When not appropriately taught by’ the parents, the children learn from their friends. Since money is attractive to everyone and is a medium to purchase goodies in life, there is likelihood that a child can learn wrong values that could be a hindrance in later life

A child must understand that money is a medium of exchange of labour. The money one earns is in lieu of the labour one does through one’s skills and abilities. To gain money one must give something of equal value. In childhood, while the parents pay for the education and upkeep of the child, it is expected that the child must pay back by using the education fruitfully and by offering his or her service at home when one is grown up.

A child must also learn that the money people hold is not always the result of their labour. It could be inherited from the forefathers, who might have left it to provide ahead start in life to their children. It could be borrowed from friends or even from banks. It could also have been obtained through stealing and cheating. Since money immediately puts a person’s honesty and character to test, it is essential that one must earn money honestly through labour, save a part of it for future and also use it to get the best out of it. Good money values include these simple activities.

To teach a child about money, let him handle money. The initial lessons could come from a weekly pocket money used to buy snacks or a cold drink at school. Later, the child could be asked to buy household items from a nearby store. As the money spent increases, the child could be taught to keep track ‘of the money spent and maintain simple accounts.

Parents often ask how much pocket money is right for a child. This would normally depend upon the financial circumstances of the parents and also the type of school the child goes to. While children desire more than most parents want to give, the best solution would be not to be excessively liberal and yet the child should not feel humiliated amongst friends.

Parents also need to teach the children about saving some money. To inculcate this habit amongst children, one can find a large variety of ‘piggy banks’ sold in the market. Having a ‘piggy bank’ provides good motivation. The parents could further encourage the child by putting some small money in it sometimes. Still later, when the child enters his teens, the parents could open a minor’s savings account in the bank. College going children use ATM cards these days.

When parents allow the children to buy household or personal items, they learn best. They will make mistakes; sometimes even lose money. These are the faults that teach them how to handle money better. Always encourage them to be honest and upright about money. Whatever people would say, honesty is still the best policy for a happy life.