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From spenders to savers-transform your kids

Updated on March 23, 2011

Spend Vs Save

These days kids have just about every apparatus known in the market in their pockets even before they ask. Parents are increasingly growing permissive and saying no is not only difficult for the parent but also for the kid to accept. In such instances, it becomes quite difficult to decide whether a kid should be given money or not? How much is acceptable as an allowance amount? Should kids be given rewards indiscriminately? Should they be taught the importance of earning? Money no doubt is an important means to a good life. Sometimes we do not realize the importance of teaching our kids this fact and simply lavish upon them excessive attention which can do them more harm than good. Teaching kids the value of money at a young age and good spending habits is important from a young age.

It was seen in surveys conducted that most kids did not care about budgets and were not very interested in the concept of saving for a rainy day. Giving kids directions on how they can manage money and rewarding them when they practice the right methods in terms of using money and choosing what to spend on is important. Today most of the time, kids are given so much allowance they don’t know what to do with it. That is when they seek newer avenues and other thrills to spend it on. I do not mean to imply that all kids with a large allowance are automatically bound to go the wrong way. But most of them tend to try many things when they experience peer pressure or simply to be part of the ‘popular’ crowd.

Here are some tips to help your kids learn the right spending habits:

Teach them to put aside a certain portion. Start this habit early on. When you give them an allowance add to it a save money for a rainy day amount which you will deposit for them in the bank or in a piggy bank when they are too young to understand banks. Open their first account for them with the money saved when they are old enough and encourage them to add to it as you do for them.

Teach kids to save for things they really want to buy. It would be very tempting as parents more often than not to buy them all they ask for. However you are setting them up for a bad fall later in life when they need to gather funds on their own for something they want. Teaching them early on that money saved is money earned is important. Encourage your child to save at least half the amount for something they really want and get them an additional surprise if you can afford it when they do it.

In many cases, in countries like India the concept of children earning while they are learning is pretty alien and even undignified. It need not be that way, however you could if you are conservative about such things, allow your kid to earn according to some chores completed for himself or herself like cleaning the room, making sure everything is right with their pet, cleaning the family car occasionally and so on. If you are bold enough to go all the way, let your kid explore a part time option like tuitions, freelance writing or something else. Today there are plenty of opportunities that can safely be taken up without it taking the focus away from academics such as online jobs, work at home options and more. It doesn’t always have to be a call centre job!

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