Raising financially literate kids

Last updated 05:00 09/03/2014
Money and kids
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MONEY SENSE: It pays to start early.

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It seems like financial literacy is all over the news some days.

We get to hear how many of us are literate, how many of us aren't, the mistakes we make, the money we don't save, the spending patterns based on our income . . . and on and on it goes!

Recently, I've been thinking about how all of this money talk affects our future, and how we raise a generation that knows how to budget wisely, save plenty and live within their means.

How can we get our kids financial literate now, so that they're set for the future?

Get them involved in the decision making. This means talking about money as a family, and can be as easy as discussing the best price for their favourite cereals or the benefits of buying in bulk versus smaller sizes.

Set savings goals together. One family friend asked his kids what they'd give up so they could all go away and they decided, as a family, to stop eating out so that they could put that money toward a holiday.

Talk about the difference between needs and wants. You know that you don't always get what you want-and your kids need to know that too. The sooner they can discern what is an essential (school shoes or dinner on the table) versus a want (the newest video game or a shiny iPod), the better off they'll be in the long run.

Set up KiwiSaver now. The earlier kids have a KiwiSaver account, the more it will grow in the long-term. This provides a great way to talk about savings and the value of putting money away for the future.

Julie Navatsyk is communications manager at Christians Against Poverty.

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