3 Steps to Financially Educate Your kids this Summer

financial wellness personal finance money matters summer holidays
Written By Caitriona Ellis

Does it feel like you are sometimes just an ATM for your kids whenever there’s something that they want? In this short vlog today I’m going to cover how you can actually use the summer holidays to financially educate your children in a really simple way. Empowering them financially is one of the best gifts you can give them. Watch the short vlog here for some inspiration as Caitriona shares her thoughts on what you can do.

One thing that you can actually use this holiday time for, whether it’s summer or otherwise, is to start to financially educate your kids. Unfortunately, this is something that’s not going to happen in school. So I think it’s really incumbent upon us parents to take that mantle and to start to do that. This can be done in some very simple ways. Three steps is what I’m going to share with you today.

Step 1: Model what financial wellness looks like. That can be challenging sometimes and that is not to say that we always get it right. Myself included, I regularly make mistakes in this.

I think that’s part of it is to show that that’s okay. It’s human to make bad decisions. It’s human to get things wrong. That is what a regular, relatable version of financial wellness looks like.

It can have good sides and bad sides. So it’s about showing your kids what that looks like. This can look anything from being more conscious with your spending. So when the requests come in for money, don’t just hand out the cash, have a conversation around it.

Step 2: Talk openly to your kids about money. So rather than to push it under the carpet and to avoid awkwardness, just keep handing out that money to actually talk to them about it, to explain to them the idea that you have a budget for summer and that you giving this money to them for this particular request will mean that you can’t do something else that you want to do. You are almost explaining to them your thought process as to whether you can give them money or you want to give them this money or not.

Step 3: Create boundaries around money. So if we have fallen into the habit of just shelling out money whenever they request, and maybe because we’re working, we don’t see them as much as we’d like to, there’s an element of guilt in there so instead of addressing that emotion and how we feel about it, we’ll just throw some cash at it and.

Creating strong boundaries around money leads to the other two steps of speaking to them about money and of you modelling financial wellness. Ideally, you have a budget for your different elements in your household, for food, for your bills, etc. and you also have a budget perhaps for your holiday expenses.

It is very helpful to kids as they go through later years to understand how an adult does money in a good way so if you’re the person who’s modelling that to them, then that’s an amazing gift to them. If you’re the person who is running stuff up on credit card without even thinking about it, then stressing about the bills, and overstretching yourself financially, energetically, every which way, then that is the model that they have.

It is very easy for them to follow that as opposed to have to learn a new model. So Summer presents an amazing opportunity to you. Take that opportunity to have these conversations, be that model for your kids, and really enjoy the experience and watch what unfolds. It is magical when you start to see them repeat your actions, repeat the conversations that you’ve had with them with their friends. It is an amazing gift to be able to give your children.

Amazingly it is not something that costs you any money. It’s something that costs you time and energy, but it is something that you will leave them for a lifetime and that they can pass on because None of us were given that gift in our education system, so hopefully we can change the tide on this and take some time this summer to really start the conversation with your children.

So I hope this was helpful to you. Any topics that you would like me to cover at any stage, email your suggestions to [email protected] Thanks for reading.

To Your Financial Wellness,

Caitriona

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