Teaching your expat kids to become money wise

Published:  14 Nov at 6 PM
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Expats on assignments with their families are in the perfect position to teach their young ones the importance of becoming familiar with the need to save and manage money.

Expatriates working in countries where high salaries and affluent lifestyles are the norm should first teach their children not to take large amounts of ready cash for granted. Early lessons can be based on the link between earning and spending simply by asking your kids to de a simple job before handing out the week’s pocket money. Tasks around the home, such as clearing up their bedrooms or helping with the washing up can all be used to link a regular task with earning money.

It’s important to teach children the value of money by relating it to the cost of items such as favourite foods, toys, clothes and suchlike. Once they’re older, the cost of a new smartphone or other IT equipment can be brought into play, and is certain to get a result, especially if it’s linked to saving smaller amounts of cash until the full amount is made up. Saving money to buy a special item is a lesson kids find easy to learn, and it gives a crucial link between saving and spending.

Encouraging kids to make two piles of earned cash, one for day-to-day treats and the other to be put towards more expensive goods, will encourage them to differentiate between wants and needs, teaching them to wait and save rather than borrowing from the bank of Mom and Dad. In this way, awareness that a specific savings goal can bring results is an important lesson learned.

The children of expatriate parents living in a land using a different currency are lucky, as they can be introduced to comparative values as regards things they buy. Encouraging conversations about money, its usage and its comparative values gives youngsters a great start when its time for them to earn and manage their own finances. Parents can also come clean to their kids about the money-related mistakes they’ve made over the years, especially when they first started to earn a wage.
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