We all want our grandchildren to be good at managing their money when they’re older, but there’s so much more to teaching your grandchildren about money than that. By talking to your grandchildren regularly about money, they will learn the value of the things you buy for them, what ‘going to work’ really means for you, and how much to appreciate the things in their life.
Essentially, teaching your grandchildren about money from an early age can make them a more well-rounded and appreciative individual, and who wouldn’t want that for their grandchildren?
Here are 3 essential life lessons in money to discuss with your grandchildren:
Where money comes from
‘Money’ to most children is an imaginary concept which they don’t need to worry about. ‘Mummy’ has money, ‘Grandma’ has money – but it doesn’t grow on trees and you need to work for it. It’s recommended that grandparents take a very active role in speaking about money with your grandchildren. Start by, “explaining where the money actually comes from. If your grandchildren are younger, explain that the money your family spends and saves comes from working. As grandchilden get older, they tend to become more thoughtful about money, and how to save and shop wisely. Take an active role in providing them with as much information as possible – without overwhelming them.” Influence your grandchildren’s motivation by saying they need to do well in school, to get a good job, to earn good money. Everything is connected.
It’s OK not to be able to afford things right now
It’s important that grandchildren know that having a ‘wish list’ is OK – you can’t receive everything you want right away. You need to save, plan what you want and spend wisely. Whether it’s a bike, a laptop or a new pet – saving for this is important. Don’t let grandchildren get what they want right away. Suggest to their parents that they get a bank account and put birthday or Christmas money away in there, to allow them to decide what to do with it at a later date, or save for them yourself. This Forbes article says that “the ability to delay gratification can also predict how successful one will be as a grown-up. Children at this age need to learn that if they really want something, they should wait and save to buy it.”
Everything costs something
You can get grandchildren involved in money saving from an early age by telling them how much things cost. By leaving a light on, you can tell your grandchild that they are wasting money. By putting the heating up a higher temperature, your energy bills will also rise. The harsh reality of life is that everything costs something, so be sure that your grandchildren are aware that Mum and Dad are not housing them for free.
Article by Stephen G Davies, MSc
Stephen G Davies MSc writes about the world around us, money matters, and business. Stephen has written for digital agencies, e-zines and maintains a passion for updating a number of his own blogs. Writer by day, reader by night, Stephen enjoys being aware of world events and affairs and is passionate about related topics.