Last April 21, I had the pleasure of delivering an online webinar hosted by SmartPurse. I was invited to talk about “How To Teach Your Kids About Money” in their Weekly Money Hour session. In this webinar, I got to talk to fellow parents about the importance of teaching your kids about money.
I discussed why it’s important to introduce kids to the concept of money and savings as early as possible.
I’ve worked in finance long enough to see that we need better ways to talk about money, especially to little girls. To tackle the gender pay gaps we still experience in the professional world, we need to equip young girls with the skills to talk about money with confidence. I realised that if we only talk about earning, equality and knowing your worth to adult women and men, we are tackling the problem 20 years too late!
Here are three important research-based facts:
- Confidence is shaped by the age of 5.
- Adult money habits are set by the age of 7.
- Girls can experience pay gaps of 10-30% by the age of 10.
This is why I push for early financial education with kids, girls and boys alike.
The earlier we discuss money and confidence, the earlier we can help children to understand the notions of time-value and equality, and to adopt good money behaviours. Learning relies a lot on concrete actions and routines, so it’s essential to start them early. You can incorporate money conversations and negotiation training in their everyday. Negotiating the value of a chore is an important part of learning to know one’s worth and speaking up confidently to claim that worth. You can integrate these lessons on everyday things like allowances and chores.
With your guidance, your kids will be able to grow up responsibly, conscious about value, fairness and equality.
After all, it’s easier to raise kids with the right habits. Undoing any bad habits they grew up with is so much harder.
The Earlier We Tackle The Problem, The Earlier We Will Solve It
According to the World Economic Forum, it will take about 257 years before we can reach economic gender parity. We cannot wait another 7 generations to close the gap.
This is why I created A Smart Way To Start. I want to encourage parents to teach their kids about money, equality and sustainability. If we start these conversations with kids early on, they will grow up and come into the workforce already well-informed.
Imagine if we multiply these efforts to thousands or hundreds of thousands of families. We will come to a new generation of workforce that is financially-savvy and equality-minded.
Imagine how pay and workplace equality will be revolutionised when a generation of well-informed children come of age. Imagine how policies and regulations will change when a generation of values-driven youth enter the workforce.
Financial Responsibility Isn’t Only About Money, It’s Also About Sustainability
When we teach kids about financial responsibility, we are teaching them how their money impacts our world. How it impacts others (fairness and equality) and how impacts our planet (responsible consumption/production and sustainable choices.
Indeed, money is not only a transmission of value, it’s a transmission of values. With issues like global warming, unjust work policies, unsustainable business practices, every money decision counts! Teaching your kids about ethical and eco-friendly options lets them know that they have a choice when spending their pennies. Each product they choose to spend their money on will show that kind of practice and policies they support! When we choose consciously, we can have a huge positive impact!
That’s how powerful money is.
Be Good Examples
At the end of the day, despite whatever money and sustainability lessons we try to impart to our kids, they won’t believe us if we don’t practice what we preach. We have to set good examples to our kids.
Let’s be more conscious with our with our purchase choices, especially when we’re around our kids. And even with our savings and investments, we can chose to steer our money towards more positive impact. This might still be quite an abstract notion for little kids, but as they grow older they will grasp this notion too. In whichever form we give money to companies, whether buying their products or buying their shares, we are supporting the way they do business.
If we want to raise our kids to be conscious and discerning adults, it has to start from us.
If you’d like to watch the whole webinar, check the video below: