Whenever I see a leading Bank’s latest commercial of a girl collecting coins in her house, I think of my three year old son, Vajra. Every evening he looks forward to reach out to his dad’s wallet to play with the coins. He puts the coins in a transparent cookie jar in his room. As the jar gets filled, we buy toys at the end of the month. While in his childlike innocence, he may think of emptying his father’s wallet of loose change or “chillar” as he endearingly refers to it, is indeed a legitimate way of “making money”.
Watching the girl in the t.v. advertisement inspired me to do something else to the chillar–make him deposit it in his bank account which is attached to my account. In my parenting urge to “control” my son Vajra’s exposure to the “big bad world“, I had as yet neglected to introduce him to the concept of a bank account. In fact, in his world of imagination, the ATM is a magic-machine that gives his Papa money, when he visits the same!
I have now resolved that henceforth, Vajra’s monetary gifts from his dadi/dada nana/nani, friends, and relatives would go into his account before I could give into his demands and splurge it away on buying toys or tees online!
Trust me, keeping aside the savings not just in shares or mutual funds but especially in your child’s name acts as a big deterrent to not to use that money for any other purpose.
As a step further, I would love to introduce Vajra to his account and probably take him to visit his bank over the next few months! I heartily encourage my fellow gruhinis and other readers to do the same.
It’s time now for some Gruhini Gyaan!! let me share some pointers to start you along the right path:
5 Ways to make your child money-wise:
1 A transparent Piggy Bank: Get a transparent cookie jar as a piggy bank and let them see it get filled and emptied. Tell them it’s their bank. “You get more chillar (as interest), if you don’t empty it out to buy new toys” or “you get your salary like dad gets if you help me around the house”
2 Replace blocks with coins: Take coins of different denominations and ask your kiddo to sort them and make a tower of each denomination.
3 Grocery Shopping: On the next visit to a store, keep a small pouch for change. Ask him to help you pay by giving him the pouch to take out the change.
4. Differentiate between needs vs. wants, things that cost vs. things that come free: A play-date with a friend or a swings in garden don’t cost anything, but a new toy car will come for a price. Or ask them “Do we really need to open that return gift of pencil box as we already have two?” Help them understand the difference between needs and wants in their daily routine.
5. Let them be responsible: If your kiddo is above 4-5 years, give them the sense of ownership by opening a bank account, make him/her visit the branch on a weekend.
So fellow Gruhinis, do share how you are making your kids money-wise! Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org