Do you want your children to be financial literate? Then read this.
There is a strong correlation between the way we are raised and our habits as adults. Today, I will share some tips of how I was raised that helped me develop a sharp eye for investment opportunities as an adult.
These are simple tips and tricks but you will be surprised that when applied early, they help shape your children into smart financial literates.
- Live by example. My 1st tip is that the parents especially the mother must walk the talk. Your children may be young but they see you. They observe when you are flamboyant. You cannot preach investment mindset when they see how you blow all your income on the latest trends and vogue. You must be conscious of your investment choices, not just for you but for your children. You are their 1st role model
- Teach them the difference between ‘a want’ and ‘a need’ from age 3. Yes, this may shock you but children can be manipulative. I remember vividly my parents teaching me that a new pair of shoes every school term is not a need. It is a want. It is good to give our children the best but we mustn’t spoil them. This is a very sensitive topic as what is considered spoiling differs parent to parent
- Teach the value of hard work. There is a Yoruba proverb that goes ‘Ise logun ise’. Hard work is the medicine for poverty. Let your children indulge in daily house chores from an early age. From the age of 4 years, your child can already fill the water bottles, clean the table, pack their plates and more. I must say my dad was a ‘professional hard worker’. (If that phrase exists). Nothing was too hard for him to do. He is the engineer, the plumber, the maths teacher, the dancer, the poultry attendant, the stock trader and much more. There is no short cut to success. There is dignity in Labour. My 1st part-time paid job was at age 16 as a Microsoft excel teacher in a computer school. Before then, I was working in my family poultry for free from the age of 13.
- Teach them to save: In the good old days, we had ‘kolo’ called the piggy bank these days. Whenever visitors tipped us, we knew we couldn’t just go to the nearest kiosk to get candy or gum. It went into only one place- the piggy bank. On Christmas Eve, we unveil the piggy bank and relish at the amount we’ve been able to save. Till date, I have been able to keep the habit of saving. Almost nothing can make me spend out of my savings. Almost nothing !
- Teach accountability and management skills. On this one, my 1st tip is don’t expose children to too much cash at an early age. (In my opinion, less than 13 years old). Before the age of 13, they should be exposed to their little allowances but not bulk cash at once otherwise they will not appreciate the value of money. But from the age of 13, you should make them accountable or manage some funds. Example, give them a budget and let them make choices within. Example, your child wants 5 small items, give them a budget that can cover only about 4 items and let the child decide on what items to choose and what to drop. This way, they are taught how to make choices early in life. To realize they may not always be able to have everything. It teaches them to live within their income.
- Teach the culture of preservation: Teach them to know how to amend/fix things. Not every single thing that gets damaged should be thrown away and replaced. This way, they will learn to care for their belongings better and minimize waste. My mother was the expert at this.
- Invest for them. Do not underestimate the power of early investment for your children. Open fixed savings accounts in their names with a good bank. Imagine you invest N200,000 when your child is 1 year old and you just keep rolling over both the interest and capital . By the time the child is 16 years old, he/she will have almost 1 million naira. It is the law of compounded interest. There are other higher return/higher risk investments you can consider such as the stock market, treasury bills and more. Get expert advice.
Picture credit- blackhomeschool site.