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How to teach your kids to be cash smart

I’m not good with maths. I was the worst in my school. The only thing I knew was how to save pennies to buy sweets after school or to save my bus fare money to buy a kids magazine. Nobody taught me the importance of saving money. Growing up, my adoptive parents argued a lot about money. How I was costing them money that they could have used on their biological family. Maybe that’s what prompted me to save pennies. I was about 9-years-old when I saw my adoptive mum put some small loose change on the table. I asked her if it was worth anything and she said ‘no’. So I asked

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‘Can you buy anything with it?’ Her reply was ‘no’. So I asked if I could have the loose change, and then every time I saw any coins in the street on my way to school, I would pick them up. Soon I had 30p and was able to go to the newsagents’ shop and buy what seemed like a lifetime’s supply of sweets. That encouraged me to look and ask for pennies and save them. The newspaper guy wasn’t always pleased to see me through. I had bags of pennies that he had to count. This penny- saving lesson is what I have taught my children from being young. When they each reached the age of two I would give them a penny for putting their toys away.

By the age of three they wanted to get magazines that had toys in them, so I started hiring them to do jobs in the house. This week my 8-year-old son mowed the front lawn for me, and I paid him £3. He is younger than his sisters and doesn’t like to negotiate with me. I tell my kids they might forget everything they learn at school, but I want them to learn and remember how to make and manage money. I tell my children we have a good life because we can manage the money we have.

My children negotiate with each other. Before the lockdown, I would drive them to the shopping centre where they would buy their own stuff, and if they didn’t have enough cash they would borrow from each another and if the others refused to lend I was the last resort. They have learned to pay back what they borrow from me and each other. If they don’t have enough money to pay back they ask to do a job to redeem themselves from debt. When raising or teaching my kids basic life-skills I like to use my intuition. I am an intuitive person, and I have learned to listen to my intuition. You may not view yourself as intuitive, but you can develop your intuition. Take time to listen to what your intuition is saying. So use your own creativity and intuition to teach your children about money.


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