From financial worries to mortgages and everything in between, what stops us talking about money – and more importantly, how can we change our mindset? Here, we’re taking a look at the importance of a financial education according to LearntoTrade – starting with children right up to retirement age.
The younger years
Financial education should start in our childhood – and if you’re a parent yourself, this means setting an example from the early years. Whether it’s rewarding good behaviour and help with chores or encouraging saving for something they really want, you can find every day ways to incorporate a financial conversation into your child’s development.
While you might not have benefitted from a financially savvy upbringing, that doesn’t mean you can’t turn the tide for your children – and it can start in the home. If you want to practice some at-home learning, there are plenty of resources available online to help you teach your youngsters about the different monetary denominations and how to use them, as well as games that will help make learning fun.
The formal education years
While no one stage of a person’s financial education is more important than another, there are some key periods – and the formal education years is one of them. This is when we were beginning to figure out our future, and what our hopes and aspirations are for our lives – and the same is true for the next generation. Your kids are probably still financially dependent at this point, but you know the time is coming when they won’t be – and it’s important to prepare them for that.
Whether you encourage a part time job, help them stay committed to their studies or something else entirely, this is your chance to help your teenagers and young adults carve out the path for their lives. By now, hopefully money is a topic that’s being openly discussed in the classroom, but you’ll want to cultivate a culture of transparency at home, too – as this will ensure they ask questions and are learning all the time.
The working years
The financial education that comes with working life will differ depending on the job role and sector you’re in. If you’re new to the working world and find yourself in your first job, the temptation to spend the money you’re earning is huge – especially as it’s likely you’ve never had that volume of disposable cash before.
The lessons to learn here come from thinking about what it is you really want. If you have aspirations, chances are you’re going to need money to fund them. Hopefully the financial lessons you’ve learned thus far have prepared you for this period of your life – or at least given you pointers into ways to divvy up your salary based on living expenses, savings and anything else.
The later years
As you enter the later years of life, you might be starting to think about ways to top up that oh-so-important pension fund or how to make your nest egg go further. Whether this is a new investment opportunity, learning how to trade forex or finding out more about the property market, there are plenty of options for you to explore – and it’s never too late to get started.
The real key here is to know what you’re trying to achieve. If you’re investing, be clear on what you expect in return. A great rule to follow is don’t ever pay out what you can’t afford to lose. This will help you be cautious with what you’re spending. You’ll want to monitor all profit and gains and assess progress regularly to decide if the path you’ve gone down is still the right one for you.
From the moment we learn to speak right up until retirement age, we’re all capable of learning new things – and in the world of money, this is crucial if we’re to continue being successful.