An adult's attitude to money is largely laid down in childhood. According to the American Financial Services Institute, basic financial habits begin to form in children from the age of 7, says Andrey Makarov, head of sales to private clients at Sberbank - Asset Management.
“The task of a parent is to teach a child an adequate attitude to money: he must understand that money will have to be earned and saved on his own, sometimes it may not be enough, but there is an opportunity to spend it for the benefit of himself,” says counseling psychologist Dina Khabarova.
Psychologists advise teaching children about financial literacy by example. You can start by showing how you manage money yourself, Khabarova believes: “For example, telling that you go to work to earn money, some of which will go to the upcoming vacation, some will go to an art school for a child and other pleasant things for him. " According to Khabarova, children should see how parents discuss money among themselves, even if there are difficulties in family finances (however, children should not be overly involved in them). True, if the family's income is much higher than average, it is better to refrain from this tactic, warns children's neuropsychologist Valentina Paevskaya, otherwise the child may get used to the fact that there is always a lot of money.
“Children copy adults, therefore, by wisely managing money and investing, parents form the correct role model for children,” Makarov is sure. The ability to save and invest is almost impossible to learn from a textbook, agrees Alexey Potapov, director of the investment department of UFG Wealth Management. He proposes to parents either to allocate their own budget to the child, or (for those who are older) to offer options for employment or participation in the management of family assets. “Any person appreciates the money earned by his own labor or entrepreneurial activity much more than the money received from nowhere, so the child himself will think about how to save them,” explains Potapov.
From savings to investments
In order to teach the child to manage money wisely, Paevskaya advises, first of all, to introduce a system of pocket money - for example, from the age of five every week to give the child the same small amount. “Then he does not have the feeling of a continuous cash flow: under such a system, he will have to learn to save for the toys he wants, denying himself something else. So the child will understand that there are expensive and cheap things: to get an expensive one, you will have to wait a little,”she says.
If you teach a child to save, then you need to explain to him that he can spend money - and on what he wants himself, adds Khabarova: “So he will see the purpose and meaning of savings, and this is an understandable and correct motivation - the same as in adults ". But if the child does not have enough money, then you can help him, Khabarova believes, otherwise the parent may become a hostile figure for the child.
Acquaintance with savings Makarov advises to continue on simple banking products - deposits and debit cards, and then (at 12-14 years old) move on to more complex investment instruments. In his opinion, mutual investment funds (MIFs) are well suited for this: "By their example, children will be able to understand how different asset classes and market segments behave." Strategic Development Director of Alfa Capital Management Vadim Loginov advises parents to invest in funds with their children when they reach 14 years of age and later.According to the personal experience of many financiers, children under 14 are rarely amenable to investment education.
By the age of 18, a child should understand that there are always risks when investing, and be able to determine an acceptable ratio of risk and return in their investments and savings, says Makarov.
In teaching a child how to handle money, some techniques are best avoided, experts say. Paevskaya categorically advises against encouraging money to do homework, five or cleaning your room. In this case, the child loses motivation to do the same without a reward, she states: pecuniary interest replaces interest in learning or a desire to help parents. Children can also manipulate their parents, warns Paevskaya: “In my practice, there were parents who complained about this behavior of their children:“Son, go get some bread.” - "How much will you pay me for this, Mom?"
You should not blame the child for spending a lot of money on him, scare him with poverty if he does not know how to save, adds Khabarova. “The topic of money should not be forbidden for him at any age, money should not be a special topic for a child,” she is sure.
“But you shouldn't bother your child with mutual funds and other more complex investment options in adolescence, if he himself does not show a keen interest in this area,” Potapov notes. And Loginov warns: "Investing cannot be compared with a game - the ease of losing toy money and earning it can be harmful in the future."