Never Too Young to Learn About Money
By Kristelle Bechayda
Parents only want what’s best for their children, and that also inc l u d e s equipping them with important life skills they can use when they grow up. As young as they may be, it is never too soon to introduce children to the topic of money management. BPI Family Savings Bank (BFSB) believes in this advocacy with them recently hosting its financial literacy session for parents and their children at KidZania.
It was a fun afternoon filled with exciting activities at the indoor city, its currency-based system and simulated environment providing the perfect avenue for children to understand and apply the concept of handling money.
How to get your kids started
Beyond the play-based learning, parents can also teach that much-needed skill to their children in real life. But teaching children about money management can also pose a challenge, as they are still too young to grasp its value.
In an interview with Manila Bulletin Lifestyle, BPI deposits marketing head Carmina Marquez encourages parents to practice the habit of handling money with their children as early as they can for them to get used to the concept. “It’s really a learning process and as much as possible, we try to embed that in their day-to-day lives. An example would be they have to practice how to budget their daily allowance. They have to be mindful that they have to spend it wisely,” she says.
Another tip Carmina shares is to have an incentive-based system, where a child is encouraged to save for what he wants to buy and his parents can cover for whatever amount he lacks. She applies this practice with her own children and adds that it’s a good way to motivate a child to start saving.
Like any practical parent, Carmina also prioritizes their needs over their wants and instills such mindset in her children. “When they get their Christmas or their birthday gifts, we try as much as possible to explain, ‘Okay, this is your money. I can keep it. If you want something, you let me know.’ But you have to make sure it’s something that they need, rather than what they want.”
A good skill investment
Carmina is a believer that imparting the skill of money management to her children as early as possible will benefit them in the long run. As young as eight years old, her youngest child already has an awareness that money doesn’t come in that easily. “I try to instill in her that she can’t buy anything just whenever she wants. She has to earn it. I’ve been teaching her the value of money, that it doesn’t grow on trees. As much as you want to please your child, you have to discipline him and make him realize that nobody in this life gets everything they want,” Carmina explains.
Such mindset has already taken root in her eldest child, who has recently graduated from college and started working. The proud mom shares that as early as now, his son already has his sights on investing part of his salary in stocks.
She adds that, aside from being able to save, having a keen understanding on how to handle money at a young age will also help children become good decision-makers. “As they get older, if they are conscious and mindful about manage their money properly, then they can make better decisions,” Carmina says. “It helps them achieve their goals faster if they are well informed and well-equipped with how they can manage their money.”