By money expert and mum-of-three Vanessa Stoykov

Teaching kids the value of money from a young age makes an enormous impact of how they think and feel about finances as they grow up.

Having over two decades of experience in the finance sector – as well as being a mother of three boys – I know no one is born being great with money.

It truly is a skill that needs to be learned.  As parents, it is our responsibility and I believe our duty to teach our kids the essential money skills that will set them up for future financial freedom and independence.

There are a few lessons that are relevant to all children when it comes to helping them understand the value of money, and they are:

1. Communicate with them

Finance is still a taboo topic for many, so it’s important to break that stigma from a young age, and help kids understand that it’s okay to talk about money. This doesn’t have to be in-depth conversations, even just talking about the cost of a grocery shop when your children are in the room helps them think about the value of money.

2. Include them in decisions

Most children get frustrated because they feel like they have no control, so including them in decisions about the family budget helps them engage with the topic. Of course, these shouldn’t be life-changing decisions, but things like what activities they would like to do during school holidays, and how choosing one over the other may impact what else they can afford to do over that period, helps them feel included.

Try including your children in decisions about the family budget.

3. Give them some responsibility so it feels real. Setting up a bank account for a child is a simple yet effective way to help them understand value too. Most children are very visual, so seeing a figure in an account helps them understand how much money they have from birthday gifts, pocket money, etc and what items they can afford with that.

But not all kids are the same, so after you teach them the above skills, it’s important for parents to understand that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.   Understanding their ‘money personality’ is a simple way to know what methods will work best for them.

From my experience three of the most typical money personalities in children are:

PERSONALITY TYPE: THE QUESTION ASKER

This is the kid that needs the detail. They ask a lot of questions about life in general so money will be no different. These kids need to understand income, credit cards, mortgages and savings. They need more detail to get a picture of what money could mean to them. Be prepared to more time into talking about money and fully explaining the opportunities.

PERSONALITY TYPE: THE DISENGAGED

This is the kid that shows no interest in money at all. It is important than you get them to take responsibilities for the basics of money, so get them to pay a bill with your money at the restaurant or send them on errands to buy things at the store and give them cash so they understand the value of things. Be as practical as you can with these kids so they are dealing with the reality of money, even though they are not interested.

If your child is a ‘Question Asker’ be prepared for your child to know everything about the world of money.

PERSONALITY TYPE: THE WANTER

This is the kid that wants everything NOW! While saying NO is one way to manage it, the other is to give them scenarios on money. If you buy this now, you won’t have enough for our holiday spending or if that game is $20, you won’t be able to go to the movies this weekend with your friends. Understanding the trade-off between money and what they want gives them the chance to start making money decisions and understanding that money is something that has to be managed.Ultimately any action children take to learn about money before they reach adulthood puts them in great stride for the future, and by setting good foundations at a young age, they’ll be that much closer to financial freedom as they grow.

Written by money expert and mother of three, Vanessa Stoykov. To find out more about money personalities, and how to teach children about money, click here.