How to model good money habits to your children

“Do as I say, not as I do” is usually not the best approach to take with kids. That’s because children pay more attention to your actions than your words.

You may not realise it, but they are also aware of your money practices. If you push your kids to spend less and save more but do the opposite, they’re more likely to adopt your bad money habits than follow your instruction.

That’s why you need to set a good example when it comes to money management. Here are four good money habits to model to your kids.

1. Use a budget to manage your money

The first important money habit is having a budget. Knowing what comes in and goes out is key to strengthening your financial life. Include your children in budget discussions and show them how a budget works.

You can set them up on a money app for kids, like FLX, so that they can practise budgeting their own money. The FLX App comes with a prepaid Mastercard which you can pay their pocket money into. They’ll be able to compare what they’ve spent against what they’ve budgeted, and you can help them take corrective action if they overspend.


2. Set up an emergency savings fund

Teaching your kids to save is another important lesson, but they should also learn that saving for life’s emergencies is essential. If you have an emergency savings fund, explain to your kids why you’ve separated your emergency fund from other savings accounts.  

When an unexpected crisis occurs, you can demonstrate that you will use money from the emergency fund rather than your daily transaction account to pay for it, and it won’t affect your budget.


3. Don’t impulse buy

Buying something you like even when you can’t afford it is tempting. If your kids see you whip out the credit card every time you desire something, it could instil a buy-now-pay-later mindset that will lead to an unhealthy relationship with debt in adulthood.

Instead, if you can’t pay for something, don’t buy it. If you really want it, tell them that you plan to save for it and that you’re willing to sacrifice one or two luxuries to free up money to save.  

Kids can also use FLX to practise saving for specific goals. For example, they may wish to buy a new PlayStation game or a bicycle. They can set a savings goal for each one on the FLX app. It may take a little longer to acquire what they want but, when they do, they’ll appreciate it more.


4. Avoid negative attitudes about money

Most of us have a particular mindset around money that was influenced by the money stories our parents believed. If you heard your parents say that “money doesn’t grow on trees” or “you only live once”, it may have programmed you to have a scarcity mindset around money or to be profligate.

Attitudes around money usually take root in childhood. So be aware of the types of money habits you demonstrate to your kids. Whether consciously or subconsciously, your children are forming a narrative around money based on what they observe in the home.


FLX is a great tool to help kids learn good money habits. You can learn more about FLX here.

This is general advice. Read the PDSs & TMDs at before deciding if FLX is right for you. The FLX Services & Flexischools are provided by InLoop Pty Ltd ABN 27 114 508 771 AFSL 471558 (trading as Flexischools). The FLX Prepaid Mastercard is issued by EML Payment Solutions Limited ABN 30 131 436 532 AFSL 404131 pursuant to license by Mastercard Asia/Pacific Pte. Ltd.


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