Life with kids in Sydney City
Share your family plans for the Christmas and holiday period and ask your children what they are hoping to experience. Guide them in setting realistic, individual goals and then prioritise these goals. This helps them understand that whilst not everything can be achieved, at least they know the most important things are at the top of their list.
Set a realistic budget with each child for Christmas, family gifts and for holiday or travel spending. Consider asking your children to research the cost of some of the toys or experiences they have on their goals list. Having money left over for free and spontaneous spending can also be important. Working out budget restrictions may depend on the age of the child, as their wants and needs change with their growth.
Consider asking your kids to earn some or all of their holiday budget, or to earn extra amounts so they can achieve that extra dream toy or that special day at a fun park. This helps create a sense of value and embeds the understanding of the relationship between jobs and money. It also motivates your kids to do more to help out around the house!
While it is fantastic your child is taking their first steps in financial management, remember that mistakes are some of the best ways to learn. Budgets can be forgotten if we don’t keep them top-of-mind. Establish a regular budget check-in system to praise your child for their positive achievements as well as see how your kids are tracking, and re-prioritise or re-align goals if necessary so that savings are not exhausted by Christmas (it happens!).
The real-world experience of money can be confronting, so deliver the right support and feedback throughout their journey to produce positive, long-term results.
In the world of online spending and digital payments, it’s easy for kids to imagine things are free. Help educate your kids about the real cost of items by taking them on your shopping ventures and getting them to use their own money to make the payment. The same can be done with online items, using a prepaid Spriggy card with set limits and trackable notifications.
We are a lucky nation and giving forms part of a rounded financial education and positive community. Task your kids with finding old toys to give to charity, or sell and buy food for a homeless charity. Set up a ‘giving’ savings goal to donate to a charity or buy a toy for a gift collection appeal such as the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal.
Kids learn by both observation and experience and our personal money habits as parents can have a big influence on what they believe about money. Think about your own goal-setting over this period and making this a shared family experience – set written budgets and stick to lists to demonstrate responsible spending.