I’m going to share with you how I talk to my children about money from a perspective of mindset, values and principles – rather than cold, hard cash.
Mindset, Money & Children
Let me start by telling you that I find it so hard to talk about finance!
Because it’s boring to talk about it directly as money – not its’ context or what it actually means. But especially to the kids, to talk about it in the cold, hard manner of “Let’s talk about money now.”
Money’s emotional relationship is far more interesting than money itself!
There is the emotion associated with money and the relationship that we have with money – it’s far more engaging.
As business owners, we financially plan around certain things, and when they go well we can consider rewarding ourselves – is this a good way to run a business?
Investing in You!
It’s great to think of Investment and Reward – the outcomes and the money you have.
Think of it in that context. Relate the money you have to something real – that means something to you. It matters to you!
A good example, in terms of investment, is the investment in others. it obviously gives a greater return of well-being, but also think of it in the terms of how you spend your money investing in you to grow and develop.
And actually, we must think of it as an investment, not a cost!
Take our family’s great holidays. It’s not the cost of a holiday, but a time to spend as a family, create experiences, be happy and have fun! That’s what we’re investing in!
The currency we use is money to create the experience – we invest in experiences.
And that’s all about mindset.
Money and Mindset
What’s my advice around adapting that type of mindset?
I believe this is all about looking at the value generated and thinking in terms of what do you:
- What do you benefit from?
- What’s the value?
- What is the outcome of the experience that the money affords you to have?
Money = Experiences
And that can be as simple as buying a DVD.
I think this is something, where we look at it, how we spent £15 on a DVD. No! We had a great time – as a family – watching a film we loved, for two hours, with crisps and drink.
It’s an experience – if you look at it through what we receive from that experience, rather than put the money in the context of what that means.
- It changes our relationship with money.
- It changes our relationship with how we treat our money.
I believe that’s a massive thing!
How do you perceive value?
Often how we perceive value and view the money we have actually comes from our past.
To give you an example, I was the kid who wasn’t able to buy the chips as a teenager when all of my friends were buying chips. And then early in my adult working life, was like, “wow, I’ve got money!”
Emotionally, it was a big up for me because I’d never had money.
But then with comes the challenge of “oh, my God – I’ve got money”, it then disappears and being back to the scarcity mindset of “I don’t have any money.”
A lot of it does come down to our values and experiences. And it’s important to understand that!
The greater the awareness we have about ourselves and our relationship with money – the better we become with understanding our money, where it goes and what it does – the more value it gives us.
Advice for our children
What is my advice to teenagers? What advice would I give my younger self with the knowledge I have now about money?
It’s how you treat the money you do have and the mindset towards it.
So for our children, it’s about the appreciation they have for whatever funds they have at the time, They put some away when they have their birthday money and they spend some – they are solely responsible for their decisions on the money that they spend. And that’s how I improve the money mindset of my children.
Put money away so you are ok tomorrow
What we look at – what we talk to them about – is to put something away to ensure you’re Ok tomorrow.
Because we know kids aren’t interested in that. They want to spend the money now!
But for the money that they do have to spend – they recognise the value they perceive that they receive and that they understand why they spent the money in the way they did.
Irrespective of how much money you have – what’s key is sharing good habits and values around money.
Returning briefly to my teenage years, I did appreciate what I did have – it was just really challenging in a peer environment. What we say to our children is – there will always be someone who has more, there will always be some with less, but you have what you have and it’s up to you what you do with what you’ve got.
Good habits for your children and money
So what are some good habits that children could form around money?
Well, first things first, take the first 20 per cent or whatever you agree the percentage to be and stick it in the bank.
The second is – write down everything they spend. Keep a record like we used to do when we did bank statements, e.g. I’ve got 200 pounds, I’ve spent 20 pounds. Be clear what you spent it on and right next to it, why they bought it.
When they go back and look at the decisions they made, they’ll understand what their rationale was at the time. Now, they may not have got the value out of it. Well, that’s good when it comes to buying Roblox cards or PlayStation 4 cards and all the rest of it.
Because if they didn’t get the value out of it, next time I hope they’ll stop and think about whether it’s the right thing to do this time!
Over to you!
What’s your money mindset?
How do you communicate with your children about money?
What steps can you take to improve the money mindset your children have?
Please let me know in the comments of the linked video to this article – it’d be great to hear from you.
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