Being money wise is so important. There are so many people in debt nowadays and this is partly because they are clueless about money and a lot of the time, through no fault of their own. How do overdrafts work? I bet there are lots of people that wouldn't know. They probably think it is free money from the bank and are oblivious to things like interest charges. Borrowing money at crazy APR rates? Some people just see those ads and think, yep that will do me til pay day.
Wee Z already knows about money. He can count and is really good with Math. So we taught him about money. He had an educational learning support worker with him at school and she couldn't believe that he knew the least amount of coins to use to make up 70p. He makes me laugh if we ever go shopping and he reads me the price of something and says, "Wow, that's a good deal!" or "Geez, that's a bit expensive!" Miss C likes to put her £1 in her piggy bank and she knows that Mummy and Daddy work to get pennies for her ballet and her new shoes. It tickles me that she thinks a coin is more valuable than a note.
I think it is so important to talk to children about money. Not to scare them IE Mummy has NO money; although sometimes that is a necessity - "Can I have these really cool toys/games/magazines Mum, please?!" It's about explaining how money works, how we get money, how to save money for things we would like and how we use money to get things we need.
Like anything, money can be taught through play! Some of the ways we learn about money are:
- Playing shops - One person is the cashier and another the buyer
- Counting with coins - How to make up an amount with various coins
- Separating coins into colours or sizes or values
- Using their pocket money to buy a treat - How much do you have? How much does it cost? Do you have enough?
- Putting any spare change into a savings pot to save for a special treat