For your child, the commercial transaction of exchanging a product for money is a simple and very daily operation, when in reality it is something more complex.
For your child, the commercial transaction of exchanging a product for money is a simple and daily operation. It will be familiar to you, when you visit the mall to shop, or go to a restaurant to eat or have a good time enjoying a good movie with popcorn at the cinema; that your child asks for what he wants and needs without him knowing if you bring money to pay. Its meaning, and what money is for, can cause confusion for children when they begin to become aware of what it takes to handle it. They are used to seeing their parents take cash or bank cards out of their wallets, and without any problem they have access to products and services.
The process for your little one is simple, and is summarized in: need and want, go to the place where you buy it and you get it, take out the cash or plastic money and you already have what you want and need; when in fact it is a bit more complex. For this reason, explaining to your child three basic things about money will help you understand that world and not become a materialist without measure:
1. To get money you have to work
As part of the routine, the child sees that you and your husband are absent several hours a day to go to work. For your little one, it is part of your daily activities to comply with the obligation to go to the office, and the time will come when your absence will no longer surprise him. They do not understand that working, developing in a position and fulfilling an obligation is not only intended to cover a personal and professional need, but it is also the most common means of obtaining financial remuneration in exchange for that time and the activity that you develop. All your effort is rewarded with a monetary payment that allows them to cover family needs. When you understand this, you will know that certain times a month this remuneration arrives.
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2. How money is managed at home
If you already understood that work is the means to obtain money and that this payment only comes on certain occasions, now is the time for you to understand that knowing how to manage allows you and your partner to get the most out of the family’s economic income. Emphasize that you have to write a list of priorities, from the most important to the least important, such as food, health, education, clothing and entertainment; that the necessary things will come first before those that are only wanted for fun or entertainment.
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3. The importance of saving
Instilling your child with the habit of saving can be very simple: from a very young age, buy him a piggy bank and the coins that you have left at the end of the day or week, have him put them in it himself. With this habit in everyday life, the time will come when you will have to empty it or break it and use that money to buy something desired such as a bicycle or a tablet, or open a bank savings account that in the long run will continue the saving work at home. It is not the same as you explaining what saving is to having him experience it firsthand: when your child realizes the time it took him to collect that money and what he got from it, it will be a great practical teaching for him.
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With these small actions your child will learn to give the value of money and that the matter is not reduced to asking and demanding that you make unnecessary expenses, which ultimately affect the family economy.