Piggy banks and savings in a cashless society
Start talking to your children early about money and help them develop a healthy financial literacy- that’s the advice of a leading Australian finance expert.
Expert finance commentator Noel Whittaker recently told First Five Years parenting website
that children under five were perfectly ready to learn about money and how to save it.
Mr Whittaker said playing make-believe shops, using a toy cash register and setting your children small tasks to do in exchange for money or a toy, were good activities to stimulate their financial literacy.
““I’m amazed at how savvy kids actually are about money, they are really very, very financially smart,” he says.
“Collecting your spare change every week and getting your children involved in counting it out is a great place to start.
“Let them count it with you and divide it up into piles; some to spend, some to save and some to give away.
“Eventually kids do have to learn about the concept of money and know that money doesn’t just come from nowhere, everyone has to earn it.”
Goodstart centres around Australia have started teaching children about money within their daily routine.
In some centres the children play shops or hairdressers, some centres have held stalls and others, like Goodstart Gawler South
have developed a relationship with the local bank.
Centre director Janine Ludwig said her financial literacy program was teaching children about the value of money and how to save and it was a hit with the children and their parents.
“I set up our financial literacy program with the local bank because I thought it was important that our children learn about money,” she said.
“They are growing up in what is essentially a cashless society so actually seeing and touching money are important experiences.
“Learning to save money and knowing about the value of money are important life skills and since we developed a partnership with Beyond Bank they children are getting some hands on experience,” she said.
The children go on regular excursions to the local bank where they get to see the safe and meet the bank manager and the tellers.
The children also bring their piggy banks into the centre with any lose change they’ve collected and the bank manager and bank tellers make regular trips to the centre to collect and deposit the money into the children’s accounts.
When we first started the program last year I had about 20 families involved and now we have more than forty signed up to the program.