The world has been thrown off its centre due to Covid-19 and the implications thereof. Our country is in a state of emergency and lockdown has resulted in jobs being lost, salaries being cut, personal finances being destroyed and an economy that is damaged. However, despite these circumstances we still have to find a way to manage our finances, take care of our families and ourselves and move forward.
Looking back to January this year, what do you wish you had done differently? For many people it comes down to finances. They wish they had saved more, built an emergency fund or possibly invested in a mask or hand sanitizer manufacturing company. I guess that is how we will always feel as human beings. We will always look back and wish we had known better and done better. Or could we do things differently?
What if you could give your children this advantage? What if you could teach them how to manage their personal finances better so that they do know better and do better?
Our personal financial situations and how we deal with this pandemic are all life lessons we are teaching our kids even if we are not communicating it to them verbally. Now is the best time to start talking to your kids about money and to start helping them become financially literate.
Candice Preston, a Money Savvy Kids licensee, knows the value of being financially literate from a young age. Her mother taught her to save and invest and she found herself able to survive during lockdown because she had built her emergency fund and had cash available to capitalise on opportunities that came her way. As a mother to 3 sons Kathryn Main CEO of the Money Savvy Brands knows how important it is to equip today’s kids and teens with valuable financial literacy education to ensure they are financially successful adults.
So where can you start to help prepare your children for an uncertain future and give them every chance to achieve success?
Firstly, start by talking to your kids about money, openly and honestly, and show them what is happening to your finances and expenses in this current situation. My Mom and I had frequent candid conversations about money. She shared the mistakes she had made and her regrets about not saving enough. Her honestly never made me see her in a bad light but rather made me respect her more. She is human and I admired her for her honestly and her eagerness to teach me to do better.
Don’t be afraid to speak with you kids. Remember that experience combined with knowledge is the best way to equip your kids to face an uncertain future with more confidence. Teach your kids about fixed and variable expenses and talk to them about options for cutting variable expenses. Challenge them to find creative ways to save money like saving R1000 on your food budget.
It is good to talk about the family values and how they influence behaviour. Our family values will dictate how we utilise our money so work together as a family and set some goals that everyone can work towards achieving.
It is important to remind children that majority of wealthy people became that way through hard work, saving and investing. Only a small amount of people become wealthy by being YouTube sensations. When children can see that it is achieve bale, even if it doesn’t look glamourous, it enables them to work towards achieving it.
Start today by teaching your kids good financial habits that will help them reach their financial goals. These include creating a side hustle, managing income, saving (a minimum of 15% of everything earned) and investing money to have it work for them. Take them into the bank and open a bank account for them with a saving pocket and set up an automatic transfer to save that money. Teaching them to “Pay themselves first” is one of the most valuable lessons you can give them. Use online sites like www.easyequities.co.za to teach them how to invest and save that money into a tax-free savings account.
Ask your kids to come up with solutions to solve real problems you and people you know are facing right now. You are helping teach your children how to think and give them the space to think their ideas through. You can guide them and facilitate them in their thinking process but allow them to work through ideas.
You can make a big difference in your children’s lives and empower them to know better going forward no matter what happens in our world. I thank my Mom every day for teaching me about finances from young and I am now living proof that by knowing better I was able to do better and this has resulted in me living better today. This could be the best gift you give your kids.