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Top Tips to Teach Children How to Earn, Save and Spend Responsibly


It’s never too early to start teaching children about money, in fact, research suggests children learn how to manage money best when they’re having fun, practising with their parents.
Finding ways to engage your children doesn’t have to be expensive, either. There are lots of engaging and educational ways to kick off your child’s basic understanding of money – teaching them how to earn, how to save, and most importantly, how to spend responsibly.
Here are some top tips from Erik Bohjort, child psychologist and Head of Research at Gimi, a free pocket money app and chores manager.

Plan a day trip together

This is a great way to get your children learning how to budget… and it takes the pressure off you having to make all the decisions.
Start off by setting a spending limit. Agree on what you want to get out of the day, for example, does the trip need to include lunch, travel and the car park?
Do some research together and let your children come up with ideas that are in their budget.
Then, enjoy your trip!
When it’s over, hand all of the receipts back to your child and let them see if they managed to stay within their means.

Spring clean your closets

Get everyone involved in having a clear out. Ask your children to go through their wardrobe and make a pile of clothes they either don’t wear or are too small.
When they’ve done this encourage them to either sell their clothes online or at the car boot sale, for extra pocket money, or take them to the charity shop.
Note down roughly how much each of the items cost to begin with and ask your children to work out what they sold them for. They can then work out the difference.
And don’t worry if you’re already up to date with your wardrobe, ask them to clear the fridge before the next food shop, evaluating what was used and what they’re throwing away.
This encourages your children to be mindful about money, reflecting on their purchases, in addition to helping them with key maths skills.

Do the weekly food shop together

Ask the kids to write down what they’d like to eat this week – ensuring their list includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
Get them to start off writing everything down. Then, ask them to write two headings ‘wants’ and ‘needs’. The children can now move items from their original list over to either ‘wants’ or ‘needs’, helping them to prioritise.
This is a great way for children to start distinguishing between necessities and luxuries, a key skill to grasp and ensure sensible spending.

Set some summer plans

Summer may feel like ages away to the children but it’s actually a good time to encourage them to start saving.
Is there something that they’ve got their eye on, such as a scooter or a new waterslide? Why not set them a challenge to save up for it themselves?
Let them research the cost of the item they want then work with them to calculate how much of their pocket money they’ll need to save each week or month to afford it.
Learning to save during childhood makes it easier to save as an adult. They’re also likely to feel really proud of their achievement too!

Make some money!

If your child is interested in earning some extra money during the time off, why not encourage their entrepreneurial flair and look into starting a mini business together. Do your neighbours or family members have dogs? Could they take them for a walk?
Or, if you’re not comfortable having your child doing work outside the home, give him or her some extra responsibilities at home. Ask them to suggest some chores around the house – are the plants looking sad or is the recycling bin piling up?
Reward your child for their efforts but be sure to negotiate it. This is a great way to inspire your child to think of their own earning potential.

Additional information:

Gimi is a free pocket money and chores manager designed to help equip the next generation with Financial Superskills, so that they can make smarter financial decisions in the future. The app makes it easy to practice how to earn, save and spend money, before managing real money.

More info:


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Smalltalk Magazine

Since 2005 Smalltalk Magazine is a printed A4 information magazine aimed at parents, distributed throughout the Yorkshire region. Printed 6 times a year it is distributed free to over 300 parent-friendly locations in the area. Full of useful and informative articles about family life.