When it comes to teaching your children those big lessons in life, it can be hard to know exactly which lessons are the most important. There are so many insights to share from your own life experiences, whether these be personal, professional, academic, financial, and so many more across all the phases of life and development into adulthood.
Although all of these facets of life can come with their fair share of stories, many parents would tell you that the practical, financial lessons of life are amongst the most important. There’s plenty that can be learnt from these experiences, and your kids deserve to be able to share in these stories and perhaps even apply their own knowledge if ever they find themselves in a similar scenario.
So how can you go about sharing your financial teachings with your kids? Well a good place to start is simply by helping them understand the following 8 big life expenses that they can expect to come across as they grow older.
Depending on who you speak with, a home loan is likely to be the largest expense you will ever incur in your lifetime. Teaching your kids about home loans, how they work and exactly what interest rates are, is critical for setting them up for a future of secure home ownership.
More importantly, home loans have so many fine details to their structure, and without this knowledge, your kids could be in real trouble if they don’t understand the loan that they are signing up for. Be sure to teach them about the different types of home loans, insurance and of course interest rates, and how all of these factors impact their financial stability as homeowners. Cars
Whether you’re teaching your kids about saving up for their first car, or attaining a finance plan for their first ever new car, cars are an expense that kids should absolutely know about. Most kids probably think you just have a car and then go wherever you want. Helping them understand the value of a car, its depreciation, running costs, insurance and registration are all critical to helping them avoid taking on car-related expenses that they may not be able to keep up with. Servicing a loan or making repayments until your car has been paid off is necessary for showing lenders you are a good borrower. So by teaching your kids how to avoid overpaying for a car, you may also be helping them protect their credit rating!
Seeing the world is something that almost every parent should be encouraging their kids to do. After all, leaving the comfort and familiarity of your own backyard usually allows you to explore some of the most beautiful places you’ll ever see. Ensuring kids understand just how expensive travel can be, however, can help ensure that they appropriately budget for the lifetime of travels.
Understanding currency conversion rates, and variations in flight costs and accommodation, are all key expenses to help kids learn how to travel efficiently. Teaching your kids to better understand the way foreign economies work can likely also help them avoid accruing big travel bills.
We all love our pets, especially the kids, but one thing they simply don’t understand is the expenses that accompany responsible pet ownership. Teaching your kids about the fiscal realities of pet ownership is the key to ensuring they don’t end up with a house full of animals and no way to feed them.
And of course, it’s not just the costs of pet food either. There is also animal registration, desexing and other medical care, accessories like leads, and a whole host of other financial elements to consider before taking on the responsibility of pet ownership. Basically, pets are an expense on all fours, so be sure to teach your kids about them.
Like most things in life for our kids, they probably think the lights turn on magically and that water simply just always comes from the tap. What they often don’t understand is how all the resources we use are actually expenses in themselves. Teaching your kids to understand the costs of electricity, gas or water helps them to better plan for living independently, when that time does come.
Alongside explaining utility bills, it can also be worthwhile to communicate that your kids do have the freedom of choice when it comes to selecting their energy and internet service providers. With this in mind, we encourage parents to take the time to teach your kids the importance of shopping around with regards to your household utility accounts, and how they can compare different energy providers and broadband or even personal mobile contracts.
Insurance can be a big expense once you start adding up all of the policies you have. But the fact of the matter is that securing the right insurance policies for you is also a key part of developing a financial safety net. For instance, having income protection insurance can help ensure that a household maintains access to the funds they need in the event that a breadwinner is unable to work. Similarly, travel insurance can help retain any funds spent on a holiday in the event that those plans may have to be cancelled.
All things considered, teaching your kids about the structure of insurance, which policies to take out, and exactly what they’re likely to need from each policy, can help to keep them well-protected whenever life gives them lemons, to say the very least.
We live in a country where we are very fortunate to not feel the effects of a student loan until we’re actually earning enough to start paying it off. However, because we have a great system, the kids may not appreciate the fact that their education will still accrue a debt that they will need to pay.
Dropping in and out of study, courses or units after the census date is a lesson that needs to be taught to be avoided. Unnecessarily running up your student loan total can have real impacts on your kid’s ability to not only study further into the future, but perhaps even to buy their own home!
Credit cards usually create two schools of thought: they are either a great facilitator of financial freedom and teaching kids to be strategic with their money, or the worst and most predatory financial product ever, depending on who you ask. The truth is that both sides of this endless debate do have a fair point. This isn’t to say that you should be scrambling to get your kids their own credit cards, nor should you be refraining from speaking about them at all.
The best approach to introducing your kids to the concept of credit cards is to just educate them on the outlined benefits (also be sure to point out that it’s really on credit card lenders who highlight the benefits!) as well as the risks associated with this and other credit-based financial services. Teaching your kids to understand what a credit card is and how to use it properly is the best way to help kids avoid falling into big credit card debt in the future.
Teaching your kids about the big expenses in life will really help them avoid the pitfalls that you or others you know may have experienced. It will also help them lead rich and fulfilling lives without feeling financial strain or pressures. If you’re looking for lessons to teach your kids on expenses, then look no further than the eight life expenses that we’ve outlined today.