19 January 2015

Teaching your 11-14 year-old about money

Although personal finance is now taught in secondary schools as part of the national curriculum, it doesn’t mean you can't do your bit to instil good financial habits in your children.
By now, they probably know the basics of spending and saving, but as they get older their knowledge will need to become more advanced to help them get by when they eventually fly the nest.

Set long term savings goals

It may only seem like yesterday that you were pushing your first-born around in a pram, but before you know it, they’re sitting behind the wheel of their first car or heading off to university. By making it clear there’ll come a time when they have to stand on their own two feet, it may help encourage your child to save up for their future. 

Many current accounts, including Nationwide FlexOne, are specifically designed for teenagers and young people aged 11-17, so they can start managing their own money. Savings accounts can also help them understand how money grows if they save it. Our worksheet can help teach them about interest rates and how to choose the best savings account.

Teach them how to budget

Involving your children in decisions about the family budget can help give them a better idea of how bills and household spending affect day-to-day life. Over time, this should give them the confidence to start budgeting for themselves. 
As your children get older (and if you can) you might want to gradually increase their allowance so they learn how to budget for more things like clothing, toiletries and doing things with their friends.

Use this budget sheet to help them keep an eye on their income and outgoings.

Be a savvy shopper

At 11 - 14 they may be starting to spend time shopping with their friends. It’s important they know how to calculate when something is a good deal, so encourage them to research products and shop around for the best prices before buying. 
They may also need help learning that sometimes self restraint can pay off - such as waiting for the sales if they can.

Show them that work pays

Finally, showing your children that hard work can pay off may give them more context when they're looking at the cost of things they want.

That doesn’t mean being a slave driver to your kids. You never know; exchanging pocket money for helping with chores around the house (such as mowing the lawn, washing up or keeping their room tidy) may even help them adjust when the time comes to start their first job!

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