WHAT KIDS THINK ABOUT MONEY

Takes a closer look at what the changes, which took ef­fect last month, mean for you If you take the time to ex­plain the value of cash and the ben­e­fits of sav­ing to your chil­dren, you may be sur­prised by how they process this in­for­ma­tion and adapt, writes

CityPress - - Business -

Ire­cently took my 12-year-old son to an in­vest­ment sem­i­nar. Most of it went over his head, but at the end I asked him what he had learnt and he replied: “It takes time to grow money, and I have lots of time.” If only adults un­der­stood that sim­ple prin­ci­ple. As part of its Olympic spon­sor­ship, pay­ments tech­nol­ogy com­pany Visa took South African ath­lete Wayde van Niek­erk to visit a boys’ school in Bloem­fontein to chat to a group of Grade 7 boys about what they thought about sav­ing money, bank charges and house­hold bud­gets.

Judg­ing from their re­sponses, teenagers clearly un­der­stand more about money than we re­alise and, as par­ents, we should take some time to un­der­stand how our chil­dren see the world of money – and per­haps even learn from them.

When it came to sav­ing money, some of the tips the boys gave were to “save up and buy things that will last a long time” and “don’t buy what you don’t need”. One even sug­gested that you should “give your pocket money to a re­spon­si­ble adult, some­one who knows when to say no for your bet­ter good”.

It seems par­ents are in­stru­men­tal in help­ing chil­dren form good money habits. One boy ad­mit­ted that “when I get money, I usu­ally want to spend it, but thanks to my par­ents, I don’t, and it’s now turned into a habit”.

Some of the boys also un­der­stand the ben­e­fit of longterm in­vest­ing. One of them sug­gested that while “it’s good to have a sav­ings ac­count, it is bet­ter to have an in­vest­ment ac­count to save more money over longer pe­ri­ods of time”.

And then there are those who got the idea of the prof­its made by lenders. One boy said he lent his fam­ily money “all the time and I charge them in­ter­est to get dou­ble back”. He’s clearly a mi­crolen­der in the mak­ing.

When asked about the fu­ture of pay­ments, it seems cash is go­ing to be a thing of the past, with most of the boys be­liev­ing that there would even­tu­ally be no coins or paper money – only tech­nol­ogy.

Mak­ing pay­ments via cell­phones is seen as a growth area, with some boys sug­gest­ing that bio­met­rics is the fu­ture – we’ll all use fin­ger­print and eye scan­ners to make pay­ments. One boy sug­gested that “the bank will see how much money you have from the tip of your fin­ger and you can make pay­ments with your fin­ger”. That could be a pretty smart move, and would cut back on card cloning.

How­ever, per­haps more chal­leng­ing to im­ple­ment would be one sug­ges­tion that in the fu­ture we will be bank­ing with brain­waves. “You’ll think about how much money you want and re­lay the mes­sage to your bank, which will re­lease the funds to whomever you choose,” said one of the Grade 7s.

And then there are those kids who think com­pletely dif­fer­ently – they see a world where no money ex­ists, but where we go back to us­ing a barter sys­tem for goods and ser­vices.

And the fu­ture of on­line shop­ping? Drones are clearly the way of the fu­ture for most of these kids, with one boy say­ing that peo­ple would get lazier with new tech­nol­ogy, “so we’ll have a holo­graphic sys­tem where peo­ple pick, choose and pay, and a drone de­liv­ers”.

If you re­ally want to know what your chil­dren think about money, sav­ing and the fu­ture, speak to them. You will be sur­prised by what they say. And please share their an­swers with us via SMS at 35697 us­ing the key­word KIDS. The best an­swers will be pub­lished next week

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