There’s no doubt that New Zealand children are more cashed up than previous generations. A 2015 survey of 520 Kiwi kids and parents by Cartoon Network found that boys were paid an average of $460 in pocket money, gifts and paid work each year. Frustratingly, the survey found that girls received just $396 on average per year. We have some tips on ways that parents can close the gender gap here.
Still, learning how to use money wisely is very different to earning it in the first place, so how do we teach our children to be prosperous and carry that prosperity into adulthood? Business mentor and author, Simone Milasas has practical and fun tools for parents.
“There are lots of ways to teach kids about money,” Milasas says. “But kids are their own little beings so don’t have any expectations. You can only be an invitation for them to have money and educate them about money.”
Canstar caught up with Simone for a quick Q&A on what expectations to have.
Q: Kids learn a lot by observation. How important is it to model the habits that you want your children to learn?
A: Don’t expect anything of your children that you wouldn’t expect of yourself. Modelling your children’s habits means allowing them to have choice, and letting them make mistakes without judgement. It is important to continually empower your children in order to create greater choices. Don’t hide your earnings from your children, it shows that you are creating and making something!
Q: What are some ways to make learning about money fun?
A: One of my friends is a single mum without a high disposable income. Rather than functioning from a place of ‘we can’t have things,’ she asks her kids what they want, and they come up with creative ways they can afford them. For example, she takes her kids to garage sales to find things which they can then re-sell on eBay, putting that money towards something that they really want. It’s exploring what you can do and make with money and allowing your children to be responsible for their own money. My stepson has a little safe and he takes his money and puts it straight in there!
Q: How important, in your opinion, is routine – saving money regularly?
A: I always suggest that everybody pays themselves’ first. This money is not for saving for a holiday or brunch – it’s to honour YOU. I recommend putting away 10% of every dollar you earn, just to watch this grow. This money saving routine helps healthy habits grow.
Q: What about spontaneity? How can we teach children to make calculated financial risks?
A: If you make your life about money, it will always be about money. If you make life about you and the joy of it and the fun of it, it will always be an adventure. It’s showing and teaching your kids that there’s choice in everything, which then allows you to be spontaneous with money!
About Simone Milasas
Simone loves business and considers it the most adventurous thing you can do. She has created several businesses, and worked in many industries and also in different countries. She is currently the Worldwide Coordinator of Access Consciousness, a major multi-million dollar company that operates in over 130 countries. Simone has run the successful and growing Australian company for over 12 years. She is the author of Joy of Business. For further information please visit www.accessjoyofbusiness.com