No matter what country you are living in, teaching your children the solid principals about how to save and manage money will go a long way to helping them later in life when they are earning money of their own. Here are some tips to help your children develop good habits about money.
Money doesn’t grow on trees
One of the main reasons expats move abroad is to advance both their careers and their income and they often enjoy affluent lifestyles in their new country. The first thing to teach your children is not to take money for granted. Start with early lessons around earning and spending. Rather than just giving your children money when they want it, encourage them to do tasks around the home where they can be financially rewarded for the work they’ve done. The sooner you start teaching your children this lesson, the better they will be. An important lesson to teach them is how much various items cost – and the amount of work they have to do to be able to afford something they want.
Saving versus spending
Another important lesson to teach your children early on is that in order to afford a special item, they need to save money in order to do so. Encourage them to see their money as two distinct piles. The pile they want to save for the future and the pile they want to spend today. The sooner they learn that the more they put into the first pile, the more money they will have in the long run, the quicker they are on track to good money management.
Set a savings goal
Encourage your children to set a savings goal – an item they can’t afford with their day-to-day money and have to save to afford. This teaches them two valuable lessons. The first being that it’s better to wait and save for that special purchase rather than borrowing money in order to do it. The second lesson they will learn is that a financial goal comes with its own reward.
Talk about money
As an expat in a country with a different currency to your home country, you are in an ideal situation to discuss the subject of money, currencies and value. For many people money is a subject to be avoided. However, the sooner your children feel comfortable talking about money and how its value is perceived, the more money-wise they will become. For example if you have left South Africa and are now living in the UK, encourage them to work out what five pounds will buy them back in South Africa. Ask them questions like will it get them the same amount of things, or can they buy a lot more?
Teach them to realise that when it comes to currencies, five pounds is different to five rands. Discuss with them why you have chosen to come and work in your new country – if earning more money has been a motivating factor – and explain how you are choosing to save or spend the extra income. Lastly, explain what lessons you have learned about money. By passing on your knowledge, you’re helping them avoid any mistakes you might have made when you were growing up.
If you’re thinking of moving abroad with your family, contact FinGlobal for more information about how to successfully make the move and unlock your wealth in your new home.