LEARN IT YOUNG
From Zhi Ling’s experience, children learn the fastest when it relates to their own lives. Use stories and objects to introduce new concepts to children. As they may find investment jargon confusing and boring, use fun teaching methods to engage their interest.
Most financial institutions are championing financial literacy among children and youths through animation and media tools. For example, Prudential has Cha-Ching, a webpage that uses colourful characters and fun games to teach 7- to 12-year-olds about making informed financial decisions. AmBank has Savers’ G.A.N.G to help kids discover the joys of saving.
Enrol in workshops and programmes
Besides learning through play, experiential learning is also one of the best ways for children to pick up new skills. Enrol them in activities specifically developed for children and youths. “Besides money matters, Wealth of Life helps children explore their self-identity, understand the true meaning of success, and discover their purpose and potential,” Zhi Ling explains.
For young teens, games such as the Praxis Board Game simulate the financial world, requiring players to make strategic decisions in order to survive the ups and downs of the economy. “Principles such as saving, budgeting and planning are emphasised throughout, giving players invaluable experience and a foundation in managing their finances wisely, in preparation for the day when they begin earning an income,” says Siew Fong.
BE A ROLE MODEL
Children often learn by example. If they constantly see you splurging, don’t be surprised if they grow up doing the same. It you’re buying a personal ‘want’, explain to them how it fits into your budget, so they understand that you’re not being flippant with your money.
“It is important to educate children about the dangers of overspending, losing control of credit card usage and borrowing too much,” says Siew Fong. If children learn from an early age the value of money, and the importance of planning and managing money well, they’ll have a better shot at financial security and won’t fall into debt.