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  • The Best Ways To Teach Your Child The Value Of Money, According To PH's Top Educators

    Raising kids to have a growth mindset is key even in money matters.
    by Dahl D. Bennett .
The Best Ways To Teach Your Child The Value Of Money, According To PH's Top Educators
PHOTO BY Pixabay
  • Studies by World Bank and data source, Standard & Poor (S&P) reveal that only a small percentage of Filipinos are financially literate, “with over 75 million having no idea about insurance, inflation, and even the mere idea of savings accounts.” Many Filipinos lack a growth mindset, and they manage their money poorly.

    This is why there is a need to teach children how to be financially literate, says multi-award-winning mathematics and psychology professor, Dr. Queena Lee-Chua, who spoke at “Cha-Ching Kids At Home: Financial Literacy Basics for Filipino Families.” The webinar is part of Pru Life UK’s We DO Education commitment, aiming to help more Filipinos become money-smart.

    How to explain money to a child

    Dr. Lee-Chua led the session, “Introducing Money Concepts to Kids,” and shared tips on how parents can teach their children about money matters, especially when it comes to having a growth mindset.

    Concepts such as estimation, budgeting, inflation rates, and prediction and forecasting can be taught to children Grade 7 and up. “Many kids rely on technology now, but more than ever, they need to learn how to estimate to see if figures make sense,” Dr. Lee-Chua says. This, she adds, is also part of numeracy.

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    Dr. Lee-Chua suggests introducing games, like a child or teen version of The Price is Right, where participants estimate a given item’s price. Estimating household bills like electricity and water are also a great way to give children an idea of how much the family spends monthly on basic necessities.

    Teaching about exchange rates should also be a part of a child’s financial literacy. Dr. Lee-Chua suggests that parents can introduce the topic by discussing why the US dollar is stronger than the Philippine peso. Inflation is another topic worth taking up with kids by comparing prices then and now items, like pandesal or soft drinks.

    The pandemic also presents opportunities to discuss money with children. “Topics like forecasting and prediction are relevant now more than ever,” says Dr. Lee-Chua.
    Through these topics, parents can plant the values of saving for the future, the importance of budgeting rules (50% needs, 30% wants, 20% savings), and delayed gratification where kids are taught to identify between needs and wants.

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    Ultimately, good financial literacy can teach children the importance of “donating” because they have managed their money wisely. “Parents may discuss with their children how others have become vulnerable during the pandemic” and that compassion for others is vital at this time.

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    How to teach your child the value of money

    To complement Dr. Lee-Chua’s talk, Dr. Mary Joy Abaquin, founder of Multiple Intelligence International School and author of 8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs, discussed the importance of teaching children the right values early on so they become money smart. She expounded on these values by differentiating a fixed mindset vs. growth mindset in her talk titled, “Start Them Young: Instilling the Financial Growth Mindset to Kids.”

    Financial responsibility: How do you spend money responsibly? 

    A child with a fixed mindset comes from a place of lack and tend to think that “mommy and daddy are not giving me money to buy the things I want.” But someone with a growth mindset will focus on allocation and budgeting so he can wisely choose between “needs and wants.”

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    Fiscal responsibility: How do you keep track of your money? 

    Do you keep receipts? If a child is not taught how to keep track of spending, he will get used to saying “bahala na.” For most kids, “idea lang ang paano kumita ng pera,” but if you teach them to keep a spending diary, they can see how capital is spent and recuperated.

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    Saving and investing: When you save, does your money grow at the same time?

    Better than saving money in an “alkansya” is teaching kids how to grow their savings. On top of simply opening a bank account, parents might want to talk to them about interest and even introduce them to the idea of stocks to make them know that when they save, the money has to grow.

    Responsible consumerism: How do you make smart choices when you are spending money?

    When children already have the money to spend, it is essential to teach them how to make responsible choices. One example is comparing several brands of an item they want to buy and choose which has the best value for their money before making a purchase.

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    Credit and debit: How do you use credit wisely?

    A fixed mindset will go: ‘It will take me forever to buy that if I don’t use credit. A growth mindset will think: If I buy this item using my card, I should know how to manage this debt at the end of the month. The point is to teach children how to live within their means and pay what they say they will pay even if that involves a transaction with their parents.

    At the end of the day, we want to teach our kids to live a meaningful life, says Dr. Abaquin. “Having a growth mindset when it comes to money is also about our ability to share, be self-aware, and be grateful.”

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