Useful Tips

Children and money: 10 mistakes of financial education


We teach a teenager to treat pocket money as a real salary.

  • “On this antediluvian mobile phone, the sound is too quiet, I don’t hear your calls, therefore I don’t answer”
  • “If I go outside in these boots, everyone will laugh at me. It’s better to freeze in sneakers! ”
  • “I ran out of money on the phone, so I could not warn the tutor that I was late”

Parents hear such phrases. Thanks to social networks or acquaintances, a child is born a need, and he is in a hurry to share it with his parents. He does not think about how this purchase fits into the family budget. And in the event of a refusal, he believes that he is sorry for the money, that he was cheated.

Parents often wonder how much money to give to a teenager for pocket money. On the one hand, how not to give too much, how not to spoil, on the other hand, how not to give too little, suddenly the classmates will laugh at the child, will he not have enough for fun along with everyone? So maybe it's time to devote a teenager to finance?

The advice of the psychologist Elena Gromova

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Step 1: Listen to the Teen

To get started, discuss the situation. What does not suit your child? What does not suit you? What everyone wants and what steps they are ready to take, and what exactly is excluded?

It is necessary not only to express dissatisfaction that money is constantly required from you, but also to listen to claims and, possibly, concerns about managing your money yourself. Perhaps you will come to the conclusion that the problem is being solved somehow differently, or that now is not the best moment for change. For example, a teenager is already 16, it’s summer now - you can see with him a job offer. A younger child can “earn” money with good grades or help around the house.

Step 2: calculate the expenses and assign a “salary”

If both parties are willing to try, clearly determine the amount that you will pay. Do not prescribe it from the head, but look at the potential spending with the teenager.

Most often, the family agrees how much to give the teenager pocket money, food, hygiene products, medical care, family trips, school fees.

Cost items in a teenager are more often the following:

  • cosmetics
  • transport
  • stationery
  • clothes and shoes
  • hobby materials
  • uniform and equipment for sports sections
  • entertainment
  • mobile connection
  • gifts to friends and relatives

Agree on which day of the week the child receives the money. Does this happen once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month (for adults)? Do not delay the payment - if you do not keep your word, the child can answer the same and also violate the contract.

Step 3: discuss fines and restrictions

Be sure to discuss what you will do if the child spends the entire amount but does not buy himself something necessary (for example, he will be left without a winter hat). For example, you can give your child the required amount and deduct money from the next payment.

Listen to the dreams of a child. If you are not ready to live under the same roof with an electric guitar or a dog, talk about it in advance so that he does not spend his first money on his cherished desire.

After a month, agree to review the terms. It often turns out that not all the subtleties are taken into account, and adjustments must be made.

Step 4: obey your side of the contract

One of the hardest steps for parents is not to get involved. We are afraid that all pocket money for a teenager will go to the Internet, to clothes and parties with friends. But if you protect the child from mistakes all the time, then by adulthood he will not learn how to distribute his finances.

How do you teach a child financial literacy?

In some countries, children can borrow.

In Soviet times, the student was given a ruble for pocket expenses - he could buy a cheesecake for 10-15 kopecks, eat ice cream for 7 kopecks and drink lemonade for 3 kopecks, and throw the remaining amount in a piggy bank. In the 90s, parents gave 10-15 rubles a day, just to eat a bun with tea in the school cafeteria. Abroad, the amount of pocket money for students is determined by law.

In Germany, a child under 6 years old must receive from parents at least 50 euro cents per week, a seven-year-old - at least 1.5 euros, a ten-year-old - 10-12 euros, a fifteen-year-old - 25-30 euros. Economists have estimated: the amount that settles in the pockets of schoolchildren is approximately 10 billion euros per year.

In Sweden and Switzerland, pocket money is also provided by the state. Until the age of 16, every month Swedish children are paid 1,050 Swedish kronor ($ 128), in Switzerland about $ 150. But until adulthood, the parents receive this money. It is up to each parent to give this money to the child upon completion of growing up or to pay pocket money out of it.

In some countries, children may have their own credit card. The costs of such a card are limited by how much and what money was spent on - it is reported to parents via SMS. In the USA and India, there are special "children's" banks for this - in India, you can open deposits in them, and take loans from the age of 15. In France, some banks pay bonuses to their young customers for good grades.

In the United States, it is common practice for parents to do some homework, such as mowing the lawn, to hire their teenage children and pay them money that is comparable to what an employee would get for the same job.

Pay for grades or not?

One of my friends decided to stimulate the child by giving money for good grades. Five brought - get a hundred rubles. For four you get fifty. You won’t get anything for triples and deuces. With the introduction of assessment fees, the mood with which the child was going to school every morning improved markedly, and the five began to appear more and more in the diary. Encouraging the child to study, mother had to refuse to give out pocket money - this initiative began to affect the family budget very much. Experts believe that this is a harmful practice. “Evaluation is not a category that equates to money, a child should not earn money,” Larisa Plotnitskaya believes. “I want my son to learn how to manage money, and how he learns if he gets money for evaluations.” The same goes for household chores and behavior.

7 ways to teach your child to save money

1. Show an example of planning and accumulation

Share your long-term shopping plans with your children. For example, the idea this summer to attach a veranda to the house in the country, plans to buy a more spacious car, the decision to buy a new TV. Tell us that this is an important waste, but it is impossible to find money for it right away, you have to save it. If the child shares the attractiveness of the plans, you can tell him how much of the amount has already been accumulated.

2. Get a piggy bank

In order not to lose or waste the pending, it is better for young children to buy a piggy bank. So they will have a specific place where they will save their savings. Pocket money should be issued in small bills, so that the child can visually distribute the available funds and compare with his desires.

3. Keep a journal of desired purchases

First, help your child focus on his decisions with his questions. Show interest in how your child chooses how to manage their pocket money. Through your interest, you will help him make a choice not on the machine, but in a more balanced way. Parents should not push the child to a particular decision, but they can offer participation in the discussion of priorities and ways to achieve goals. In the shopping journal, write what is best to buy right away, and what can wait. Count together how much time you need to save and not spend pocket money to purchase a particular item.

4. Train Thrift

Teach your children to be mindful of money and resources in general. Turn off the light when leaving the room, do not allow unreasonable use of water. Look at utility bills together. In this case, do not hit greed. Holidays, trips are also an important part of human life.

5. Be rhythmic in issuing money

For example, you can give out money at the beginning of the week. If the child exceeds the limit for entertainment during the week, then there will be nothing left for the weekend. The child also receives the opposite experience: if you do not buy the extra chocolate bar immediately, then at the end of the week he will be able to buy something more.

6. Encourage side jobs

The teenager should be encouraged to earn extra money on his own, for example, during the summer holidays. To do this, parents can ask their friends if they have vacancies. The opportunity to earn money gives the adolescent an important experience of adulthood: he will be faced with the need to fulfill agreements, synchronize with other employees and their tasks.

7. Adolescents can be involved in discussions about family budgets and purchases.

Define together the main items of expenditure: purchase of clothes, utility bills, car maintenance, leisure, training courses. Offer to join the preparation of the list of products before going to the store: look in the refrigerator and evaluate what the family will need in the coming week. An older child can be asked to make purchases on their own. It is a good idea to take the children with you and compare products by weight, price per kilogram together, look for which products are cheaper, how they differ in quality. Together with a teenage child, also plan a family vacation, instructing him to look for favorable fares for air tickets, hotel rooms and car rental.

How to deal with tantrum in the store?

The cause of the tantrum is physiological: fatigue, hunger.

Need to postpone purchases. A child’s bad mood cannot be corrected by persuasion or threats. You need to go shopping when the child is rested, healthy and well-fed.

The child is naughty in public for the sake of the experiment.

It is necessary to deprive the "actor" of the audience: go out into the street. It is important not to involve other buyers in solving the problem.

Check: how much power do I have over the parent?

One should not give in to provocation: a concession will consolidate the experience of pleasure from manipulation.

Yielding to tantrums, you form negative traits in your child: moodiness, spoiling, selfishness and aggressiveness.

Try to make it a rule: while he is hysterical, you do not communicate with him in any way, including not scolding.

Immaturity of the child. For some children, seeing store abundance is too much of a temptation.

In this case, it’s better not to go to the store with the child for some time and repeat the experiment in a month or two.

Use the store as a gaming, educational space.

Offer your child the right choice: for example, which yogurt or juice to buy. Ask for a cucumber or bread. Instruct to compare the contents of the cart with the list. If the child cannot read, make a list in the form of pictures.