Monday, April 14, 2014

Teaching them Young

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A month ago, the Department of Education and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas through their joint program, Guro ng Pag-Asa, awarded four public elementary-school teachers in the country in recognition of their effort at instilling the youth with the basics of personal finance and entrepreneurship under this program. It was also good to hear that they were given cash incentives for these effort, as well. 

Personal finance has come a long way in the past decade with information and ideas on investing and handling personal finance and money management. The recent development excites in that they are teaching the basics in public elementary schools around the country. But back in the days, there was not much information on personal finance and it was a concept I had a few years ago.

Ways on how to teach personal finance to kids
Value of Money—Once they learn counting, let them play on coins and small bills and teach them how money works from purchasing a candy, ice cream, a toy or a book, for example.
Have Patience—Teach them slowly about the concept of saving. Parents can tell the famous Aesop’s fables story on the Ant and Grasshopper, which was read to me a lot of times when I was a kid and it does have morals about how hard work pays off and planning for the future. There are a lot of books in the market you can pick up and read to them during bedtime.
Getting over the “Buy me this” attitude—One could often hear this from kids (Bili mo ko, in Filipino) when at the mall or supermarket. Let the child wait and they will soon forget about it. Delaying gratification is really important to understanding and learning at a very young age. This could help them make decisions and differentiate needs from wants.
Acquire a money box—also called “Piggy Bank” and is a very helpful and useful tool in getting kids started on saving money. The general use of piggy banks or money boxes is to store loose change in a quaint, decorative manner and use it when needed. It comes in plastic, ceramic or even wood and it comes in different shapes and sizes.
Start saving up—One can open a savings account for children or the so-called kiddie savings account. It’s better to get a child acquainted and let them tag along on the bank and teach them the basic banking concepts early on from lining up to deposit or withdraw funds. Teach them a little where money comes from.
On rewards—It’s alright to give a child a gift (pasalubong) out of love and affection or when they accomplish something that is good like a good behavior or achieving a high mark during a test.
Exploring outside the home—Rather than playing video games at home. You can let a child explore other activities that don’t cost much like playing outside with other kids in the playground and at the same time make friends with them. Getting hurt with a minor scrape or a bump is alright. They will commence playing once they are good to go. Remember, getting hurt is part of the learning process of becoming a strong, healthy and having the best position to decide when the time they grow up.
Personal finance begins at home and parents are their first teachers, mentors and role models for this. It will require a lot effort, participation and interaction with children. The objective is to instill and educate them as early as six or seven years old about the value of money, the concept of saving and investing. This, in turn, could help them when they grow up as adults in developing their consciousness on simple money saving habits.

Mr. Benedict Baluyut, is a certified real estate professional (PRC Real Estate Broker) a regular member of Registered Financial Planner - Philippines. He writes from time to time with Registered Financial Planner Column at Business Mirror and MoneySense, a Personal Finance Magazine in the Philippines. Catch him on Facebook page Pinoymoneyvantage | Follow me on Twitter | Add on Google+ or visit his official blog at

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