Teaching your Tamariki Good Financial Habits

Let’s face it we live in a highly consumer-oriented society. This means that everyday your tamariki are constantly bombarded with messages of what they must have. This ‘gotta have it all and now’ mindset means that many tamariki are growing up with little care for the value of money and saving. This is reflected by the fact that in New Zealand 43% of people aged 18-24 spend more than they earn each year. Teaching your kids to manage what money they have will help them avoid falling into the debt trap as an adult.

Talk with your tamariki and identify some savings goals – it may be a toy they want, a bike or something else. Then work out a plan of how they can achieve it. Agree an amount they need to set aside each week and make them aware that if they spend it on other stuff they won't reach their long term goal.

Suggest they open a bank account where they can get interest and grow their pūtea. This will teach them how banks work and will get them in the habit of looking through and understanding bank statements.  

Work with your kids to look at ways of earning some money. It could be earning pocket money for doing jobs around the house or doing odd jobs for friends, neighbours and extended whānau. Something else to consider is getting rid of stuff that is no longer of any use – clothes, toys, furniture etc either by having a garage sale or by selling it online (i.e. Trademe). 

Ultimately, your tamariki need to learn that money is a tool – it can help get them the things they want and to the places that they want to be. This doesn't mean that they need to have lots of it to live a happy and successful life, rather that they need to learn to manage what they do have well.