One of the reasons I hope to start my child early to learn finance is not be ause in kiasu, but because, more than often I find myself buying similar items in possibly different designs and then regret this extra expense that I bought on impulse.
Also, looking back, my parents would always give me a fixed allowance since I stepped into Primary school. At first, I could not understand how to utilise my coins. Some days I even become generous enough to buy a sticker or ruler for my Friend, which result in me not having enough to perhaps buy an extra bread or "upgrade my mee with that extra bak Kwa".
As I grow up, from counting my coins every day, making my mini plans, and upgrading to counting notes makes me feel kind of accomplished and a grown up. Therefore, I also learnt to manage my mini finance and sort of learnt to be thrifty in a way. I still remembered, at a point in time, we were too poor to pay for electrical bills. When I emptied my piggy bank, those tears in my dad's eyes were GOLD. I was so elated and proud and thankful that my little bit of savings could bring us back electricity that month!
Besides having "only child syndrome" plus my multiple miscarriages, it made me probably dote on my Chloe many times more. In fact, she's the little princess in our household. Having many to dote her is a blessing of course. But it can also turn her into a spoilt brat. In fact, her temper is getting worse or people say : terrible 3s. I'm pretty sure many of us tend to buy toys or that extra Color pencil for our child if we have that extra cash or really hope to 'shut them up for that temporary peace of mind'. Sometimes to keep our sanity or pamper child, we ourselves also start to overspend.
Inspired from somewhere online some time ago, I decided to control spending (okAyyy like finallyyy) and also teach her the concepts of finance and calculation. About 3 months ago, I gave her a token / coin when she behaves well.
In her coin pouch, she built her little stash of opportunities. Every coin meant 1 small item she can buy in future. At the start, each time she brings her coin purse out, I will ask her to count and put in 5 coins. As time passes, it has now increased to 10 coins.
Every weekend, we will usually do grocery shopping or pop by a toy shop for her to play awhile inside. Since then, whenever she wants a toy/book/snack, she will be given a choice to utilise her coins. She also has to count her coin before, during and after each trip/buy.
- She is not allowed to buy same or similar toy unless she can give me a very good reason.
- Each toy cannot be above $20.
- Lower priced/ small toy - 1 coin
- As the value or size increases, I will demand more coins.
*counting her coins before, during and after each trip/buy if time & mood allows"
When making a choice, which I'm not agreeable or she's not agreeable, we will "debate" it out. And I will remind her to count her coins as well.
These coins are utlized on what she asks for, such as toys, books, snacks. Of course, things doesn't always go my way. Sometimes she can still throw tantrums and don't buy this method. But so far so good. At times she also decides to save for other items and forgo the current one she's looking at.
This sweet little one will decide to buy snacks for her classmates or for the family members occasionally. I remember her treating me to Bubbletea and she was the one who offered to 'treat' me. When reminded that will be 1 coin lesser, she will say do more good deeds or be nice girl and can earn her brownies (baby language of course). Really warms my heart.
So last week, she went on a school excursion to big box. And each student was asked to bring $10 and can buy up to 3 items of their choice (except sweets).
My bubbly ONLY bought a bunch of bananas back. She told her classmates and Teachers, my mummy is a monkey and she eats bananas. And I can have $9 back for mummy.
- I rarely eat banana. T_T 😓
- purpose unknown yet for saving her $9. 🤣
- Images retrieved online
Do you have parenting tips to share on teaching toddlers about finance?