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Mums are happier talking about money than dads

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Mothers are more likely to instigate conversations about finances with their children than fathers and to use smartphone apps to help their kids learn money skills, according to research.

Some 28% of women were happy to speak to their kids about money management compared to just 19% of men. And 76% of mothers encouraged their children to use mobile apps to learn about personal finance, compared to 64% of men, a survey by Fidelity International found.

More than a third of mums (36%) said the autonomy of money apps would encourage their children to take more responsibility for their financial decisions.

And 23% said apps would improve their children’s understanding of personal finance, while a further 23% thought apps would improve their confidence when using money in real life situations.

Maike Currie, investment director for Fidelity International said: “With children recognising the value of money and its basic purposes by the age of seven, instilling a healthy attitude to money and finances early in their lives is crucial.

“With the advancements in technology over the past few years, using digital aids and apps is a simple way to break down complex topics and make them more appealing.”

Five tips for teaching money to children:

  1. A weekly allowance is a good place to start as it teaches children the value of money. If they are very little this can be used as a teaching tool – for example you could give them pocket money equivalent to their age. While this may work with a 4-year old it gets trickier with teenagers. For teens the most important lessons rest on the two c’s – credit cards and compounding.  If they understand the risks of the former and the value of the latter, you’re half way there.


  1. Don’t fret too much about how much to give them although it is wise to have a conversation with other parents to get a good idea of the benchmark. More importantly help them to use this allowance wisely – they should understand the need to set aside some money to save (for a goal), spend (treats and the like) and share (offerings and charity).


  1. Try to involve your child in some financial decisions. For example if you’re shopping in the supermarket and deciding between two products – explain to them why it makes sense to buy the better priced alternative if the quality is similar. Give them some of the shopping money to make their own choices – for example what fruits to buy within the limits of what you need.


  1. Make sure the learning process is fun and not a chore. Managing and dealing with money is part and parcel of being an adult and you can influence whether your child approaches financial matters with confidence rather than ignorance or fear.


  1. Finally, don’t let the “I want, I want” conversation end up in squabbling and tears. Instead, see it as an opportunity to teach your children about finance. You don’t need any textbooks – the world is your classroom.

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