Black children MUST learn Financial Literacy.
To call this a revolutionary act, is no exaggeration. More and more black parents are beginning to see the necessity of having honest and open conversations with their children. You can start to teach black children Financial Literacy as young as 3 years old – you do not need to wait until they are in a particular age group. Teaching your black child Financial Literacy is a necessity.
For far too many of us, we reach adulthood and are still financially illiterate. It is like we get the gist of everything from starting a business, to getting into cryptocurrency and forex trading but still cannot grasp the basics of good financial habits.
Why is that? Because good financial habits are learned behaviour, as black children we need to learn and practice these habits in order to bring them into adulthood.
In a world where the odds are unfairly set up against them, Financial Literacy may be all the freedom that they need to sustain themselves in the future and start pursuing what they want out of life. Your pre-schoolers (pre-kindergarten) need to know that attaining success in life is not as straight forward as making it to college and getting a degree. And far too many of us were taught that…
“I cannot teach what I do not know”
Some parents struggle with the timing, while others struggle with not knowing how to; because they do not truly understand it themselves. The world has advanced beyond the excuse – “I cannot teach what I do not know”. If this is you, then make use of the available resources on the internet (and on this site) to teach your child Financial Literacy… and learn with them.
They aren’t too young – just make learning fun!
Sometimes, the question is, ‘when?’. In reality, your pre-schoolers might be too young to fully grasp or understand the concept of finance or of money, of spending, saving, income, investment debt, etc. Your children probably think you have unlimited wealth stacked up somewhere as all they see is you accumulating stuff! They never really see the actual struggle. Even if they acknowledge that you leave the house to work, or get on your computer for a few hours and start typing, they have no concept of the value of your hour or the things that go into putting food on the table.
Their wants are increasingly insatiable, they see you buying stuff and they want stuff, too. This is the appropriate time to start teaching the value of money to them.
Of course, it needs to be age-friendly, fun and appropriate. So, here are some great tips on how to teach black children financial literacy.
THE CONCEPT OF EARNING
Let your children learn to place value on a pound; you can play a game where you hire them.
Try not to pay them for the chores they should normally do, so it doesn’t seem like bribery (also there is a lesson to be learnt in the fact that some things just need to be done and don’t always get praise…or money… kinda like parenting). Instead, they can be paid for extra chores. They will very likely be wise in spending money that have worked for. In the midst of this, teach negotiation. Make them understand the importance of negotiation. Let them know that they can decide their worth and fight for a better deal. Teach them that they can and should ALWAYS negotiate.
THE CONCEPT OF SAVING
Your pre-schoolers should know not to throw all of their money away on Snickers and Chewits. Teach them to save for “rainy days”. Get them to understand the importance of saving a percentage of their allowance. Place a goal in front of them, maybe a toy or game they have expressed interest in; something they really want, and teach them to save for it. This will teach them to not spend every penny that hits their fingers on petty little sugars. You could even do a chart of how much money they need and cross out a pound or dollar each time they earn it. For example, they want a toy robot that costs £30; If they are earning £1 per day for their job they will be able to see that if saving every penny, in exactly 30 days they will have that toy. Each time they spend some of that money, they have to wait a little longer. This also teachers delayed gratification. If you have ever watched a child get agitated at having to wait 5 seconds for a Youtube skip button to appear, you know learning delayed gratification will do WONDERS for them in the future!
When they have reached their goal, you keep them saving for something else. With time, they begin to enjoy the process.
- You can teach them how to spend within a budget.
- You can teach black children financial literacy by teaching them the value of money and the concept of choice;
- Involve them when you go to do food shopping.
- Teach them that money should not be spent at a go, because once it is spent, it stays spent.
- You can deliberately be indecisive and let them help you to decide according to your budget (they will start to think about the choice and feel responsible).
- You teach them that their habits can be costly.
- Be a model, exhibiting behaviours that you want them to imitate. For instance, when they know the expense of electricity in the house, they become more conscious of leaving the lights on when going to bed or leaving the room.
Your children will need to learn the difference between wants and needs.
You can get your children to understand the need to be influenced by the right things and the right people. The things that they see on TV, and the kinds of people they interact with matters. If your children are around people who do not spend wisely, they will likely be affected by that and might imitate. This will help them as individuals when they are grown, to not be affected by pressure. They must learn to face the reality of economics and be wise about their choices.
Your children must know that not everything on TV is as it appears to be. Media is very deceptive, and it is everywhere… if they have a phone and social media access they are being deceived every day. You should subtly teach your children contentment so that they are not affected negatively by what they see on television and Youtube. They must be taught to separate reality from fantasy at an early age. They should know there is nothing wrong with working hard and treating yourself but being grateful will help them to control extravagant behaviours.
Financial literacy shouldn’t just be about how to attain wealth or manage it but include the impact that can be made. So, you want to let your children know how to see beyond himself and his wants. Teach him not to be selfish. Your pre-schoolers should know and seek bigger benefits than earning a pound. You should teach them to seek something more than money. Teach them how to survive, live and help those around them. They learn financial freedom not for themselves alone but to be able to make an impact. Remember, you can almost guarantee they will begin to learn the value of money when they are able to see how it impacts others less fortunate than them. When they can see that money is not just for accumulating shiny things. Have a look at different charities with them, discuss and let them pick one that they would like to follow and support. I love the idea of supporting a school, orphanage or village in Africa.