5 smart money tips my kids learnt on our recent international trip
We may feel our children are too small to understand the importance of money, but the fact is, it is always a good idea to start early.
As parents, most of us are trying to make sure that our children are comfortable and confident, that they are safe and able to take care of themselves when required.
One such concern that I have had a few times with my kids is that, even though they are sensible and understand the importance of money, they may not always be able to understand how to make the best use of money.
Of course, you cannot expect small and even young children to really understand these things, and both my 4 as well as my 10 year old also needed some guidance and explaining to help them learn things better.
However, this time, when we headed out for a trip to a few countries abroad, we decided it would be a perfect setting to let them manage their own money.
1. Know how much money you have in hand before you create a ‘want’ list: This was one of the things I wanted my children to understand. Before we started our trip, we handed the kids some notes and asked them to count.
When they both knew how much they had, they knew no matter what they buy, it has to finally fit in within this particular amount.
2. Understand currencies and the concept of exchange rate: This is not something that smaller children will understand yet, but those who are a little older can definitely learn a lot about different currencies and the exchange rate system. Once my older one knew the rate of exchange, she was able to figure out the money bit better.
3. Create a list: Of course it is super easy to spend the money and super difficult to save it and buy that one big thing you really want. I asked my kids to make a small list of the things they really wanted to buy during the trip.
I told them to limit it as much as possible, so that they could save up and buy what they needed, and in case any money was left over, it would be an additional treat.
4. Compare the price: Picking the first item you see is always tempting, but it makes sense to compare prices. So, while my daughter loved a book she found in a store abroad, she realized that it would make way more sense for her to buy it back here in India. She could instead use the money for something she would not easily get here.
5. Be responsible: Lastly, handling money is something that will make the kids more responsible and alert. They had to make sure the notes and coins are properly stored in their wallets, and ensure they always took extra care of their bag so that the money would be safe.
We may feel our children are too small to understand the importance of money, but the fact is, it is always a good idea to start early. It will help them learn to manage and plan better, and also work hard to achieve their dreams.