Teaching your child how to set financial goals:
It starts with a conversation. By Tynah Matembe
One of the most fulfilling things about my decision to become a mompreneur and set up @MoneyMatiX, whose mission is to bring financial conversations back into living rooms, is that I get to practice firsthand the things that I do in my business. We have been focusing on getting young people to share their big ideas and in our last blog, Helene wrote about creating a vision board with your children. It is an amazing tool and we are always fascinated by how creative and uninhibited children are.
Following on from the big ideas that the children pitched during the challenge, I got into an interesting financial goal setting conversation with my daughter Kaylah. She intimated that her biggest desire right now is to get a phone. So we started the conversation about why she wants the phone. Her answer was that everyone else has a phone and so she feels left out. This helped me to steer our chat towards making decisions, I strongly believe that one of the biggest things we can help our children to learn is perfectly ok with who they are and not having to do things just because everyone else is doing them. We can help them celebrate their identity and teach them to make decisions based on tangible benefits and disadvantages of given choices. Landing this lesson for children will be a life skill that will help them succeed. So we spent all of last week exploring the question and implication of “why”. The response that everyone in her class has a phone is the wrong reason and until we understood this the financial goal around Kaylah getting a phone was not going to be set. I explained to Kaylah that I am raising her to set trends not follow them and as such her reasons for setting the goal were not aligned with a trendsetter’s character. If we do not converse with our children and explain to them our Why they can not develop the skill of logically coming to healthy standpoints in life. Next, our conversation moved to the uses of a phone, who would she phone or text? What about online safety and social media? Tiktok and Snapchat seemed to come up a lot so we spoke about how (if at all) this may change her current communication style. And then we went on to how much it costs to own and manage a phone? We came to the conclusion that a mobile phone largely falls within the luxury category and so we discussed delayed gratification and planning ahead for the luxuries we like. I explained phone contracts and the responsibility that comes with owning a phone and struck a deal with Kaylah that she was going to accomplish certain tasks and challenges in order to earn the phone. We will review our deal around Christmas and should her end of the bargain have been met, we will buy her the phone of her choice. Kaylah will then have the responsibility of paying for her monthly phone bill herself. The power of conversations, this snippet illustrates what started as a big idea chat ending in us learning about decision matrix and contractual relationships. Kaylah has since written her first contractual proposal draft for our deal.
I am certainly feeling like the cat that got the cream, having been able to land several lessons out of one conversation.
Use every conversation with your child as a learning moment and help them set smart financial goals that will have them winning each time.
Please share your thoughts, tips and insights into your own financial conversations @MoneyMatiX. Together we can mould meaningful conversations and help our children understand the true value of money.