Belfast Telegraph

Do you want help teaching your children about money?

An important part of growing up is understanding the value of money.

That’s why Danske Bank has been helping to teach children and young people all about money through its SMART schools programme. Now the bank has put together its top tips to help you introduce the topic of money at home, helping you prepare your children for the real world and all the possibilities that lie ahead.

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1. Start early

Introducing the concept of money to young children is a good idea. A fun way to start is by looking at the value of different coins and helping your child to find different combinations of coins to make £1. For example five 20p coins or a 50p coin, two 20p coins, and a 10p coin. For non-expensive items, you can encourage your children to calculate the change needed. 

It’s really important that when your child sees you paying for things by tapping your card, or even your phone, you explain it’s just the same as spending physical money.

2. Make money fun

Once children get the hang of counting and understanding money, you can start to have some fun playing money-based games such as role-playing as shopping assistants or customers. Or for older children think about online or board games, you could even let them be the banker in Monopoly.

3. Pocket money

Giving children a small sum of pocket money can be a great way to help them get ready for the real world. They’ll have some independence to decide how they budget and spend their money. You might find that some children will make mistakes when it comes to money, but it can often be a good lesson to learn.

4. Encourage saving

It’s not always possible to buy everything at once, so it is important to encourage children to save. You can do this by helping them set saving goals for something that they really want, and then encourage them to save up and work towards it. You could also consider opening a children’s savings account and help them build lifelong habits by saving a little bit regularly.

5. Practice what you preach

Children are very observant and can form habits based on what they see around them. So the next time you go to make an impulse purchase, you may want to think twice!

Danske Bank has been delivering its SMART financial education programme in primary and post-primary schools across Northern Ireland for a number of years.

SMART’s primary school activities are specially designed to help children from 6 – 11 years old understand where money comes from, the importance of saving it and how to stick to a budget.

Danske Bank also uses its expertise in banking and personal finance, to help educate older children in secondary school. The modules for 14 – 18 year olds cover budgeting, credit and debit, buying and renting property, through to entrepreneurship and building a business.

If you’d like to find out more about Danske Bank’s SMART financial education programme then visit danskebank.co.uk/SMART

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