I have always had an issue with the lack of financial education in our schools. I think it is one of the most important life skills to master but yet there is a serious lack of knowledge transfer. I have two children, which I try to instill some of my financial knowledge on them. It usually doesn’t work though, they are too busy with friends, social media, and watching TV, they are not interested in money. I find it hard to relate this knowledge to them in a way that they understand.
Then I found mrssmartmoney.com’s blog which outlines 3 easy lessons which I thought were brilliant. Kel is a frugalist, a coach, and a speaker. She helps people to get their spending under control and manage their money. She has also ran an experimental ‘no spend year’ which you can read in her blog.
Kel, otherwise known as Mrs Smart Money. Stepped back from her 16-year career as she felt that her children’s childhood was passing her by. As their household dropped back to one income she embarked on a mission to make that remaining income work as hard as it could. This resulted in the No Spend Year coming into being. During this year she succeeded in reducing her family’s outgoings by €27,500. She is now a Budgeting Coach and wants to help others do the same and grow their confidence with money.
There are three lessons that Kel wants to instill on her children;
1. The Three Jar Method.
This is a simple method that the children use to put any money that they receive into three different jars; each jar has its own purpose. The idea is to teach them about the basics of money management and the concept of segregating money for different uses. It’s a great start to get them ready for financial independence and emulates nicely a similar concept that we do ourselves. When we get paid, we split our money into a few different jars; one for bills, another for an emergency fund, and yet another for investing or savings.
The three jars are labelled: Savings, Spending, and Charity. When the children receive any money for their birthdays or holidays, they split the money into the three jars. The Savings jar helps them to save for expensive items that the children may want. The spending jar is one that they can dip into to spend on everyday items and the charity jar teaches them that it is important to give back to the world.
The children get to decide what percentage of their money goes into each jar. As Kel says herself, “It helps to sidestep a few of the major money mistakes that might otherwise set them back years in their lives”
2. Including Children in Family Money Decisions
Kel also suggests including your children in some of the family money decisions. The process would help them understand the financial decisions that we as parents make on a regular basis. It also starts to introduce the budgeting concept to them; we have an X amount of money that we can spend today, do we do option A or option B? if we do Option A then we do not have enough money for such and such a thing.
Again, this is a great concept to teach children as it relates back directly to our own journey. We need to budget our money and question our purchasing decisions on a regular basis in order to become financially independent. We strive to become conscience of our spending rather than buying something because we want it now. These are great concepts to instill on any child.
3. Open a Bank Account with your Child
This is where things start getting serious; handing over the savings jar to a big bank in order to keep it safe and out of temptation’s way. Even though they have handed it over to the big bank, they are still accountable for the money in there and they still have control over that money. The great lessons; responsibility and accountability.
The big lesson here is that even though the tangible money that was in the jar has moved to digital numbers on a screen, they are still responsible for it “and it is up to them to monitor the account and build on it themselves.”
I love how Kel has simplified the big three concepts, that we struggle with on a daily basis, in a way that a child can understand them. These three lessons would give any child a great start in life. I would really like to see Kel being able to somehow bring these concepts into the classroom.
See more of Mrs Smart Money‘s tips and advice in her blog.