Tuesday, 13 July 2021

Teaching kids money habits

When we only have 1 kid, we would normally go out on weekends as J was scared that K would be suaku. We would normally let K ride the kiddy rides if they are available, but would not put money in, instead trying to educate her (uselessly) that putting money in is not worth it.

I would always feel sad when K looked longingly at other kids on moving (paid) kiddy rides. She would sometimes scamper to board the kiddy ride after the other kid had left, and asked me how come there was no more electricity (as the ride no longer moved).

Later on, I decided to do the following:

  • give K her own pocket money
    • $1 per week for every year of age. Since K was 3 yrs old then, she gets $3 a week.
  • I round up every transaction to $1, as it is easier for her 3 yr old brain to understand.
    • If it is a transaction I approve of, e.g. buying from NTUC, I will round the amount down (e.g. $3.60 become $3)
    • If it is a transaction I do not approve, e.g. buying from vending machine, I will round up.
  • K can do whatever she wants with her money (to teach her responsibility and power of $$). 
    • e.g. if we go out for a family meal and she rejects the family meal and want to order ice cream instead, she can. She will pay for her ice cream though.
Later on, when K wants to ride kiddy rides, she will decide how much she wants to put in. E.g. she has $3. Does she wants to put money into the kiddy ride, or does she want to conserve money to buy tidbits at NTUC.

Once K wanted to put money into a machine that she can turn a knob to dispense a toy. Although we tell her that she likely won't get the toy she wanted as the machine was filled with random toys, she didn't want to listen. She wanted to use her money (she had saved up like $10+). After a few tries (each try was $2), she understood that it was not worth it, and didn't want to put in more money.

I feel that giving her her own money helped to teach her the value of money. No longer does she look longingly at kids on kiddy rides (She has the power to choose if she wants to put in $). She now sometimes educates her friends not to spend money at the vending machine too (buy at NTUC is cheaper!).

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