After a year of financial fragility in 2020, plagued with money worries for many people, research suggests that children are picking up on our anxiety. According to a study of children’s mental health during the pandemic, those from low-income families showed higher levels of anxiety and stress, with symptoms including unhappiness, worry and restlessness (*3). Here’s how to give the gift of money confidence to help children deal with those money worries.
Open up the conversation
While your first instinct may be to hide your money fears from your children, this may actually increase their anxiety. Indeed, research shows that children who are regularly exposed to conversations about money and finance tend to grow up to be more financially confident adults (*4) .
Make teaching fun
Use fun and engaging ways to teach your children about spending, saving and the value of money. Play board games such as Monopoly or Payday. They can provide hours of family fun, while simultaneously teaching your children about living expenses, tax, budgeting and saving. Make it a challenge!
Look for cheaper broadband or utilities
If your children are a bit older, challenge them to find a better deal – with a percentage of the savings they make as a reward!
Turn the food shopping into a game
Give the kids a list and ask them to look out for cheaper or own brand products, as well as money-saving deals. You could even offer a prize for the most money saved.
Reward hard work
Offering a small ‘wage’ for completing household chores teaches children that money is something to be earned in exchange for work.
Ask for help
Many people remain anxious about the state of their finances. Get help to get your finances back on track by speaking to a professional. That way you will be back on track, leaving you free to support your kids through this demanding time. There are many different ways of getting free help. The Citizens Advice Bureau (www.citizensadvice.org.uk) and The Money Advice Service (www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk) offer free advice.
(*3) Co-Space Study, 2020, (*4) Money & Pensions Service, 2018
WORDS Angela Davy-Makwana Dip PFS