Most Black women are working hard - damn near breaking their backs - because they have a desire to ensure that their kids never have to worry about money the way they did. Most of us have similar money stories - along the lines of “growing up I wished my parents would do this or that but they just never had enough money”. More than wanting to have enough money to do anything we want for our kids, we want them to do better than us at handling money and the trick to that is to start them young.
It is hella hard to break a lifetime worth of accumulated bad money habits. This is why true liberation for this generation has taken a while.
"We’ve had to do the hard work of unlearning bad habits, myths and a way of life we learnt through watching our parents deal with money."
Tonnes of TeD talks later, we are still trying to undo the mistakes we did before we knew better and after buying dozens of books about how to reclaim power our finances we now know the real basics of having a healthy relationship with money… You know, the stuff they neglected to tell you at school, like the earlier you start saving and investing money, the better your chances of having compound interest do its job for you. Or how there’s a better way to have a healthy credit score than taking out multiple store cards that help sink you deeper into debt.
We often say things like, “I wish I knew this earlier”, which is exactly why we need to start imparting financial education to our children as early as possible. Here are some fun tips to get you started.
Show And Tell
If you are going to start them really young, then you need to teach as a pre-school or primary teacher would. That is, with a lot of how and tell. Make the experience as tangible as possible with the help of visual and even audio aids if you can.
For example, once you explain the concept and the importance of saving, introduce the piggy bag but opt for a clear one so they can see the money grow. When they want something that is not on your budget, encourage them to save then take them and their savings to the shop, so they can see the money decrease from their savings as they spend it.
As they get a lil older, introduce other aspects of money management like drawing up a budget or being paid for chores and even paying taxes. Let them get a taste of how life will treat them once they start earning money.
Mind The Age
Money is at its core a complicated concept. Adults easily get confused by it, so it’s only normal that a child will not immediately grasp the education you throw his or her way. Of course, age will continue to determine how much you can teach and how but in every age category there is a money lesson to teach.
Lead By Example
Just like everything in life, your kid will learn more from observing you than from what you tell them. So act right. They are always watching.
It is also important to note that financial lessons need to be taught in conjunction with general life skills. Your child will develop some sort of toxic relationship with money if the other aspects of their lives like their mental health are neglected.