When I was younger and I was bringing up the older three children, I never worried about money, or the future or savings. I had the philosophy of easy come, easy go. Although I taught the children the value of money and that if they wanted something they had to save. one year we managed to get a trip to New York, because we cut down on bills and the food shopping. If the kids wanted a computer game or a comic, they would put the money in a money box and would save instead.
So here I am a few years down the line and we are starting to teach Little Miss T, the value of money and savings. She has started to collect money boxes and she lines them all up, with certain coins going in certain money boxes. She is only 5 but knows that the £1 coins are worth more than the other coins, so that's what she collects more of. Currently she has £40 in her money boxes. When we go out she asks to take some but she never empties her money box. She seems wise to the value of money and that kind of makes me really proud of her. I got her a new piggy bank recently and ordered a load of paints and art things for her to decorate her piggy bank, she certainly blinged it up! Getting kids involved in decorating encourages them to save as they want to make use of what they have created.
Now having watched three of my children grow up and make their own mark on the world I was asked what three bits of advice I would give Little Miss T as she grows up and needs to learn about her own financial security. So here we go
1/ Make sure your savings are in the right kind of bank account, If you save in the wrong type of bank account then you will find yourself losing out on interest as current accounts usually have a lower rate of interest than an ISA or Bonus Saver type account would have. To stay in the black in the bank, If you go overdrawn then you end up paying charges that could well be more than the actual over drawn amount was in the first place. When I banked with Halifax a few years ago, I become over drawn, so they took charges of £25 (or something similar) which put me overdrawn again, So I incurred charges for that too and the end of the month another £25 left my account. It was like fighting a losing battle. On another occasion I became 54p overdrawn and was charged the obligatory £25. I soon left Halifax and went to Nationwide and Barclays, both I am happy with. Luckily banks and building societies are not so ruthless these days and don't go to the extremes to charge you like they used to. Many banks these days don't make overdraft charges and you won't get any unexpected charges, one of these online banks is www.thinkmoney.co.uk, they help you to budget so all your bills are paid first.
2/ Avoid credit cards, they look like its free money, but it isn't. Credit cards can cost you a lot more in the long run. If you don't have the money to buy something, then you need to go with out it. I know they can be good in an emergency and they might be easier if your going on holiday, but over all they are not good to use for everyday shopping.
Kids need to be taught the value of money from the age Little Miss T is and the earlier you teach them and encourage them, it gives a good start in life for them. We need to teach our kids from primary age, that money isnt magical and it doesn't grow on tree's like they think and mummy certainly doesn't have an endless amount of cash in her purse. The importance of saving and looking after money is a priority for kids growing up these days.