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
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