Voice of the Industry

The magic age to talk about money...7

Tuesday 4 August 2020 08:55 CET | Editor: Mirela Ciobanu | Voice of the industry

Fast digitalisation and socioeconomic transformation have led young people to face more challenging financial choices (than their predecessors did), over the last decade

As such, children need to learn about earning and spending, saving and investing, using credit wisely, recognising and avoiding financial fraud, and many more. The advice is usually provided by parents, educational institutions, books, and others. Today we speak with Mac Gardner, the author of ‘The Four Money Bears’ book, who will delve more into the topic of financial education for children and give you some tips on how to #TeachKidsMoney.

Ok, it's Sunday afternoon and you're sitting down writing a grocery list and setting your budget. You take that list to the store and you start to compare the items as you walk down each aisle. You're holding up 2 cans of pasta sauce. You compare brands and compare prices. You add the one with the ‘Best Value’ to your shopping cart. This continues until you get to the checkout line. You have a few coupons and you present them to the cashier. Little do you know...your 7-year-old is watching EVERY move you make. She's also listening to the words you use and how you talk about financial decisions; even ones as simple as buying groceries.

By the age of 7 our kids are actually aware of the concept of money. They hear the conversations we (their parents or grandparents) have about money. They watch how their parents spend, if/how they save, if/how they invest and if/how they give. Children my even hear conversations about mutual funds, bank accounts, IRA, 401k, or a family business. They may not be speaking with you about it, but they are absorbing these experiences and they are shaping the financial habits that will be exercised throughout their lives.

These early years in a child's life are critical to their long-term development. Studies show that a child's connection with money starts as early as AGE 7! They start to learn the subtle differences of how money is used. Children at this age begin to understand the concept of an allowance as a means to EARN money for doing chores around the house. What is often not provided to children at this age is a full set of options for what to DO with their money. Sadly, many homes and many schools don't have the tools needed to start that money conversation with children in elementary school.

There are basically only 4 functions of money: Spend, Save, Invest, or Give. These functions are the basic building blocks of Financial Literacy. A child learns from an early age that they must earn money. However, they are often shown from an early age that there are only 2 options for that money once they have it - Spend it or Save it. They should be taught that they have other options. And those other options of Investing and Giving can have a big impact over their financial life journey.

‘The Four Money Bears’ book was written to help parents with young children have that discussion about money at an early age. Each Bear represents a function of money. Spender Bear, Saver Bear, Investor Bear, and Giver Bear tell the story of working together to create a budget. They introduce educational financial literacy concepts in a fun and entertaining way. They help kids understand their options when deciding what to DO with their money. And more importantly, the book provides parents a tool to start a conversation they probably never had when they were kids.

Our kids are watching our every move. Give them the opportunity to talk about Financial Literacy at an early age. Let's not wait until middle school or high school to start talking about money. That conversation can start earlier than you think! #TeachKidsMoney

The journey continues...

About Mac Gardner

Mac Gardner, a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, has served in the financial services industry for more than 20 years.

His passion for financial literacy led him to publish his first book, ‘Motivate Your Money!’ in 2013. As his family grew and his clients began to ask him for ways to teach their kids about managing money, he decided to use elements from his first book to develop a financial literacy platform for young children. The Four Money Bears represent the four basic functions of money. When children gain exposure to money management skills at an early age, they are likely to develop healthy financial planning habits as adults. Mac is a true believer in the power of stories. He wants every child to know the story of ‘The Four Money Bears’ and the benefits of sound money management for generations to come.

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Keywords: Mac Gardner, The Four Money Bears, financial literacy, financial education, money management skills, payments , education, money
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Banking & Fintech