I grew up in an environment where talking or thinking about money was perceived negatively. Anyone who did that was labelled as “money-minded”. And not just me, most of the kids born in the 90s or 80s had little exposure to the concept of money.
For all our childhood days, money was just a means to buy some chocolates or snacks. We even kept it in a piggy bank to “save” for some special days. For me, it was for buying a lot of firecrackers during Diwali to show off before other kids in the neighbourhood.
We got to understand the real-world importance of money only after growing up. Even then, some of the kids of my generation are still struggling to understand how to manage, save or grow money.
However, for today’s kids, things are different. They have easy access to good and free resources to understand the value of money.
Unlike the kids of my generation, today’s children have the opportunity to make some serious savings or investments and become financially secure at a very young age. Does this make kids of today’s generation smarter than the kids of, say, the 1990s? Ankit Gera, the co-founder of Junio, offers a different perspective on this question.
It is not really about whether kids in the early 90s were smart or kids today are smarter. Earlier, for kids, financial or money management was mostly about receiving cash and saving it in the piggy bank. But today’s kids are digital natives, increasingly using online platforms to learn, shop and connect with their peers, Gera told FE Online.
He further said as the number of digital platforms is rapidly growing in almost every sector including fintech, it becomes imperative to teach them money management skills from an early age. Doing so will help them grow up as financially independent adults.
Right age for money lesson
Gera suggested giving financial lessons to kids as early as possible.
“Even very young children can grasp the idea and value of money at times. So, the best way to begin is by imparting real life situations and experiences where they interact with money and get a sense of its value,” he said.
How to teach money to kids
You can establish teachable moments for your child. For instance, say, when you are paying money to the shopkeeper at the grocery store, explain to your kid the process. You should take one step at a time instead of giving kids all the money lessons at once.
The most important money lessons that you can give your child can be about budgeting, credit or borrowings, risks, and basic taxation.
There are also several apps like Junio or Birdfin that may be used to help children get familiar with money management.
Gera’s own company is also offering Junio Smart card, which is a promising medium to teach pre-teens and teens about saving, spending and budgeting via a series of activities.
He said that Children can learn about how to earn, save and spend money through Junio. They can get a feel of real-life concepts of savings and interest and compounding, which can prove very valuable later in life.
In the US, the Greenlight Debit Card is a unique tool/platform/app that is helping kids to learn money management skills while nurturing financial knowledge and discipline in them. “We are aspiring to achieve something similar through Junio smart card in India,” Gera said.