Article By: Kelly Kirk-Xu & Emily Stevens
We all dream about raising our children to be happy, content, and (let’s face it) financially stable. Of course! If kids can learn financial skills from a young age, their entire life will be easier. When it comes to money, “time” can be your best friend… so the longer you have to let money grow – and the earlier you start saving, the more you’ll have in the end. With more money, you have more opportunities (for yourself and to share others).
Money mastery tends to come with years of mistakes and experience, which is exactly why letting kids spend their own money may be just the thing to help your little one become a money master! Here at Walter the Vault, we have covered the topic of giving your child an allowance a few times, but what is a parent to do as their child prepares to spend the money they have saved? Actually, they may learn to teach themselves about what they truly do & don’t want to buy.
Allowing your child to make their own money decisions might be a little nerve-racking at first. You may find yourself wondering if you should give them some guidance when they are preparing to blow it all on that king sized candy bar or if you should set rules about what they can and can’t spend their money on. Do you want to know what we think?
Allowing your little one to spend their money how they think is right will be a great teaching opportunity to help them learn about money! Yes, your child is going to make a mistake or two. They might have a goal to save up for the newest Nintendo Switch game, but end up blowing their savings on a sparkly new toy and fast food.
However, allowing your child to make these mistakes when the consequences are not too serious will help prevent them from making these mistakes when it matters. Which do you think would be a harder blow- having your five-year-old splurge their toy money on a Big Mac or having your 25-year-old splurge their rent money on a shiny leather jacket? Plus, some kids may start to watch their money quickly disappear, and they’ll realize “hmm… do I really want this?” the next time they go to buy something. Chances are, they’ll start to figure out what they truly want, when their resources are limited.
In addition, it’s great to teach your children to set goals on what they want to buy. When they only get a little amount of money at a time, they can buy small things with that money. However, if they learn to “save” or even “invest” their money, they will watch their money grow. With extra money, they can buy bigger/better things. It’s great for kids to have these experiences and learn for themselves.
Letting your kids spend their own money will allow them to understand the consequences of their actions before things get serious.