To follow up on our piece about asking parents to educate their children, we have decided to put together a list of things that children should be aware of before they reach adulthood. 

Value of money

Children need to understand what money looks like and the difference in value between a lot of money and a little.

A good way to demonstrate this would be to play games with younger children. Give them a choice of items that they could get with some pretend money and then create different scenarios. For example, you could get one sweet for two coins or three sweets for five coins. You could also look at how different brands of products can be cheaper than others. 

In later life, understanding value can help a person decide whether a product or service is worth the amount that is quoted. A value-thinking person will look at the cost of alternative products or services, searching for the best value-for-money offering. This is a very important mindset that everybody should adopt.

Budgeting

It is easier to budget once you know and appreciate the value of money. This is the next step.

For older children or adults, it’s important to note the 50:30:20 model and the four-way grid when it comes to budgeting. These are two ways that you can look to carefully manage your money. Budgets can lead to a lot of balls being juggled to it’s probably something that should be targeted at an older, more developed child. 

Loan & Interest

A loan is something that you will pay back over time, usually with interest on top of the initial amount.

A good way to show this in action would be by letting your children borrow physical money before asking for more money back over a set period of time. The children would feel frustrated at the situation, no doubt, but that frustration would be a great way to teach them about how the loan system works. You should only take out a loan when it is absolutely necessary. 

father holding his young daughter as they both smile

Direct Debit

This is when an amount of money is automatically taken out of your bank account, saving you the hassle of remembering to pay things like rent, bills, and subscriptions. Money will go out of your account on a set date and you will not need to manually do anything more yourself. 

It is quite easy to teach this to children who are slightly older but it might be a little counterproductive when you are showing them how to manage money. “Why can’t I just do direct debit?”, might be a natural response, so perhaps it’s best to leave direct debits until they are older. 

Credit Score

A good credit score opens up doors for credit cards with better terms and bigger opportunities for borrowing, like a mortgage. A credit score is a little bit complicated and it should really be taught to teenagers as opposed to younger children. However, it is very important that people go into adulthood with an understanding of how to reach certain financial goals. 

Perhaps you could teach children by rewarding them for repaying money that they have borrowed from you. At the same time, it’s important to remember that overusing credit cards can leave you in a very bad financial situation. It’s all about finding that balance.

Investment 

People who are planning for a healthy financial situation will look to invest their money to stretch it out. Many top financial experts say that the key to having that financial freedom is by placing their money on stocks and shares that they expect to do well. 

Games that use a virtual market, like FIFA, can actually open the door for real-life investment. The Ultimate Team game mode has a transfer market where you can buy and sell players while prices fluctuate. However, loot systems that promote gambling are not condoned as they can lead to young children spending silly amounts of money to try and get ahead on a virtual game. 

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