Do you see yourself as a financial role model for your children?


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Have you seen the ad on TV about your driving and how it can influence your kids? The ads ask ‘what kind of driver are you raising?’ and asks you to ‘make every drive a good example’. To me the ad is implying that your children, no matter the age learn from your actions and behaviour and model it.

This is not just the case with your driving. They also tune into your money habits, from your relationship with money your children pick up more than you realise.

They pick up when you are stressed about paying bills, when you say they can’t have something because it is too expensive and when you buy something and then try and hide it from your partner.

Your children pick up on all these things; this then can define their relationship with money.

For example if you are always arguing with your partner about money your children will notice. It can make their relationship with money a bad one as they feel money creates conflict.

If you tell your children they can’t have something because you can’t afford it, again they won’t have a healthy relationship with money as it makes them feel sad all the time.

If you use money to buy their affection, they will pick up on this. Not only will they use this against you, this may translate to other relationships in the future. As they may believe this is what love is about, getting stuff.

Hiding money and not openly discussing it in front of the children doesn’t help either. If you don’t expose your children to money, they will grow up not knowing how to manage it which could lead to debt issues and getting themselves into trouble.

Children need to learn about money and that learning comes from you, you’re the first person they will look to. Ensuring they understand money is essential.

First, you need to be good financial role model. That means doing your very best to live within your means and put away some savings or investing for your future. It also helps to educate yourself about money so you can have open constructive discussions about money with your partner while the children are present so they can model your behaviour.

Secondly, openly discuss money with your children, whether it is pocket money, presents in the form of money or money they earn.

Some people set rules with their children about money. For example, 10% must be given to a charity. This is good as the child learns about giving not just about receiving; you could even discuss different charities and let them decide whom it goes to. Then you need to teach them about saving; they can put 40% into saving for the future. It really doesn’t matter what they are saving for or even if they have made a decision. This one is more about putting a good habit in place for their future. The last 50% can be fun money for them to decide what they want to do. This will teach them that money isn’t all bad, it can be fun too.

The hard part as a parent is letting them decide what they use fun money for. It’s important that you let them make their decisions and don’t influence them at all. You want them to understand the power and impact of making their own decision. If they have buyer’s remorse, so to speak, they will be more cautious spending their money in the future.  It is better to learn this lesson on a $40 toy than later in life on a $400,000 house.

I would suggest you talk to them about their decision and why they made the decision. Just to help them think through their options. Although remember ask questions and try not to influence their decision.

The earlier you start educating your children about money the better. If you start this when the children are quite young they will never know any difference. If your children are teenagers, don’t be concerned; it’s never too late.

My parents took me to investment seminars with them when I was in my late teens, then when I had a job, I just started investing. Since I had seen my parents invest when I was a child, I just assumed it’s what people did. I didn’t know any different.

That was until I started getting questions from work colleagues about investing. That’s when I learnt that not everyone had the financial role models I had.

So what kind of financial role model are you? Do you have any tips to add? Please SHARE in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Must have done something right – two of my kids have their own successful businesses – now have to make sure the good model is passed on to my grandchildren.


  • You just have to do what is right for your family.


  • how to be


  • Hi DRAGONFLYCHAI11, we probably all have items we can improve on, good for your that you have recognized it and are trying :)


  • My children know that if its not on special we don’t buy it. But I think that I need to be a better financial role model around only buying things that we actually need rather than buying things that we want.


  • Great article thanks for sharing


  • Great article. We do banking once a week and even if it’s only $1 or $2, I think it instils that savings mentality into Miss 8 and Miss4.

    • Hi BEDDA1, great to see you are teaching your kids to save, it is such a great lesson for them.


  • Ddddd


  • I trIced to teach my kids how to be good with money. They both went a bit stupid after getting their first jobs. One has settled down the other is still paying off get debts

    • Hi Mom, I think we can all be a little silly with money sometimes. That great the one has settled down. Let’s hope the other has learnt their lesson with debt :)


  • this is a very interesting read, I particularly love the Investment idea, I don’t know how to invest and i wish i did. I save as much as possible to pay for big items when needed not wanted, like today I was able to successfully purchase home content insurance, business and car insurance, save a lump sum on buying all together, but i saved for a while of no treats, no buying expensive clothes and swapping with friends for things needed. I also put money away fortnightly for bills so i never get a big bill and i dont give my children pocket money yet as they are too young 1 and 4, all their money goes into their bank accounts and it will stay that way for aslong as possible. chores will need to be done for pocket money in their hands.

    • Hi Tinakraja, by the sounds of it you are doing great. Living within your means and saving are the first step. You kids will see this and learn from you.


  • I always the to be a good role model


  • This is so apt…need of the hour. Good job mum :)


  • we have never wasted money and our kids know that and that is why they have learnt to save

    • Hi Mom, sounds like you are doing a great job and your kids are learning great money habits :)


  • This is such a great article thank you for sharing some really great tips and advice


  • it s a nice pink elephant


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