As a mother, the lessons that you teach your daughter will influence her a great deal and will stay with her for the rest of her life. This is true in all aspects of life and especially when it comes to money matters. Your attitude towards your finances will give her a blueprint for her future dealings with money.
So how can you ensure that you are teaching your daughter the lessons that will help her have a positive relationship with money?
Teach Her to Delay Gratification
One of the worst money habits that your daughter could develop as an adult is the tendency to make impulse purchases and to accept the “gotta have it” culture that the advertising world promotes. Spending the rest of her paycheque on a new pair of shoes rather than putting it in her savings account will give her an instant thrill, but if she doesn’t learn to wait and save for things – bad spending habits can develop and she can get swallowed up in a sea of debt.
You can start young when teaching your little one about making a financial goal and saving up for it. If she receives an allowance and there is a particular toy she wants, help her figure out how many weeks she will need to save to buy the item. There are even savings accounts for children now – see Newcastle Permanent Building Society as a popular example.
Make a colourful chart and put it on the wall so that she can track her saving progress. When sees her money grow over time and her goal get closer and closer, she will see the value of saving.
Warn Her Against Peer Pressure
Let your daughter know that just because Sally next door has a deluxe doll house with a swimming pool, she doesn’t have to have one too. The pressure to “Keep up with the Joneses” is one of the reasons why so many people are in debt. Don’t let your daughter get caught up in this trap, or she will have the same attitude 25 years later about Sally’s real house with a swimming pool.
Show Her How to Find Pleasure in what is Free
Henry David Thoreau once said, “He is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.” Show your daughter than she doesn’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy herself.
Introduce her to the many cheap pleasures in life, such as reading, spending time in nature, writing, making art, hiking, listening to music and any other ways that she can entertain herself without spending a fortune. Cultivate in your daughter a love of conversation, learning, discovery, self-reflection and cooking simple meals at home with friends – all of which will never have to cost her a lot of money.
Let Her Make Her Own Money Decisions
When we are raising children, especially daughters, we tend to want to hold them tight and protect them from all of the mishaps, misfortune and mistakes that are waiting for them out in the world. However, if you coddle your daughter too much financially, how will she learn how to make her own decisions when it comes to managing her money?
Although it might be terrifying, let go of the reigns as soon as you can. Let her budget how she spends her babysitting earnings or her summer job money. Teach her how to file her taxes one year and let her take over the next year. Be there to give advice if she asks, but otherwise trust her to navigate on her own.
Sure, you might see her make a few foolish mistakes that are hard to watch, but from those mistakes she will learn financial lessons that she will never forget.
What lessons do you teach your daughter about money? Let us know in the comments below.