3 things to teach your kids now, to stop them running up debts as adults (Lesson 3)

Following on from Lesson 1 – If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it and Lesson 2 – Free money is brilliant!

Lesson 3 – You will always have more than some people do, and less than others

In any non-communist society, there are those with more and those with less, and an awareness of this helps you put things into perspective when it comes to spending choices.


Charitable giving should start at a young age, whether this is giving old toys and books to a charity shop or donating tins to a food bank or money to a lady selling poppies in the shopping centre.

An awareness of this will help children to be grateful for the toys that they have, and be more likely to look after them, and help them think about how they spend their money. Talk to them about what various charities do, and how they help people or the wider world – you may even decide to sponsor a guide dog together or make a regular contribution to a charity that you favour and have the opportunity to use some of your money for good.


Most finance experts recommend a percentage of your earned income each month going to charity – even if it is just 5%, so that you get into the habit of doing it, some people like to do this ad hoc – others have a pot to use for sponsoring friends / collection tins / church donations etc. You could suggest that your children do the same.

The flip side of this is the need to keep up with the Jones’ – there will always be that one child at school who has both a Superdry Jacket and Nike trainers but this doesn’t necessarily make them happier or more popular children. Parents may buy out of guilt due to them having to work long hours, or being an absent parent, but equally may be sacrificing foreign holidays, or a new car to fund everyday spending.

There is nothing wrong with having nice things, but going back to point 1, everyone needs to make spending choices – never assume that you know someone else’s story. The boy with the £90 trainers might prefer to play football in the park every week with his dad rather than be home alone on the weekend because both parents work, and having the ‘right gear’ will only ever make you popular in the short term.

Taking car finance for a flashy car, the latest mobile phone or feeling the need to take extravagant holidays, because everyone else does, can lead to overspending, which in turn encourages debt.


See also:
Lesson 1 – If you don’t have it, you can’t spend it
Lesson 2 – Free money is brilliant!

Later in the year, we’ll be running our money workshops for teens – please let us know if you’d like to be added to the waiting list.

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