Egg-ceptional way to value money
HANDLING physical money is critical to teaching kids about how to get a good grip on their finances.
The continual shift in Australians using less cash has made it far more difficult for children to understand its importance.
Brothers Ted, 5, and George, 3, earn cash by selling eggs laid from their own chooks each week.
Reaping $3 for half a dozen eggs and $5 for one dozen, they then divvy up their cash earnings so it doesn’t all end up in one basket.
Their father, National Australia Bank general manager (SA/NT) Gregg Harris, said teaching his children about how to make a living had helped them understand that they must work to earn money.
“With money being so digital you can’t actually see it and touch it, and that makes it a lot easier to spend,” he said.
“Unlike where you tap a card, they have to decide whether the money is going out of their hand when they go to the toy shop.”
The move towards digital spending has resulted in children not seeing physical cash exchange hands as more people switch to paying by card or phone.
This has made it tougher for children to understand the true value of things.
Mr Harris said a combination of children having a piggy bank, using physical money and rolling up their sleeves and doing some hard work could help teach them about the cost of goods and services.
ASIC Moneysmart’s senior executive leader, Laura Higgins, encouraged parents to engage with their kids about money.
“Have conversations with them and explain how things get moved around electronically,” she said.
“It’s important to have that real cash conversation and explain what virtual cash looks like.”
Ms Higgins said the concept of pocket money was also critical.
“They should recognise coins and understand how the world of money works, and part of that understanding is about cash,” she said. “It’s important they understand their parents are working to earn money that puts a roof over their head and puts clothes on their back.”
‘They have to make a decision on whether the money is going out of their hand when they go to the toy shop’ Father and banker Gregg Harris
HARD-EARNED: Brothers Ted and George have set up a stall selling eggs, which helps them understand that they must work to earn money.