Positive about money
Our aim is to get people talking about money – how they feel about money, their emotional relationship towards money, their fears, their longings and their financial goals. Through our experience as financial planners, we’ve come to realise that most people have particularly strong emotions when it comes to money. Some people (especially parents) feel enormous guilt about not having enough money to buy things for their children. Other people experience guilt when they spend their hard-earned money, even if it’s on something that they’ve saved up for and budgeted for! Many people use money as a form of emotional upliftment and believe that nothing beats a good shopping spree to lift the spirits. There are even people that we’ve counselled from privileged backgrounds who are ashamed of their family’s money.
The point is that we all have some form of emotional relationship with money – either positive or negative. What we do, as financial planners, is to help you manage your money by taking the emotions out of your financial decisions. We help you to plan your finances with your head and not your heart. Understanding people’s behaviour towards finances and money is part of a relatively new field of study known as behavioural finance. There is a plethora of fascinating research on why and how people behave towards money, with the general consensus being that our childhood and upbringing hugely influence our current emotional attachment towards money.
We believe that, as a parent, one of the greatest lessons you can teach your children is how to manage their finances. With three young children of our own, we’ve tried to teach them how to manage their money from a very early age. This includes paying them regular pocket money, with the expectation that in return for pocket money they will be expected to contribute positively at home. In addition, we’ve tried to instill a sense of charity into our children by encouraging them to put aside 10% of their pocket money for charity. This money is then regularly pooled and donated to a charity of their choice.
We encourage you to sit with your children and talk about what they would like to do with their pocket money. Explain to them how interest works and how their money can grow if invested in a bank account. Better still, open an on-line bank account for your child and let them see their money growing on-line. Most children learn better visually, so this is a great way for them to see how interest actually works!
All our boys are waterpolo players, and we’re currently in the process of raising funds towards the upcoming Under 13 waterpolo tour to Knysna in March. The cost of the tour is about R1 500 per child, and whilst most of the parents are able to pay for the tour, we’ve taken a decision amongst the parent body to make the children jointly responsible for raising funds for the tour. We’ve been fundraising for just over a month now and the kids absolutely love it! They’re full of great fundraising ideas; they love helping behind the counter at the tuckshops; they take delight in calculating cost price, market price and profit; and they get an enormous amount of satisfaction adding up the profits at the end of the day. What better way to teach your children about marketing, advertising, economics and teamwork?!
One of our fundraising ideas – which worked really well – was to partner with the local Wimpy. We invited all the parents, teachers and children to an evening at the Wimpy where the waterpolo players were the waiters and waitresses for the evening. The kids worked really hard waiting on tables, cleaning up, serving drinks (and dropping a few along the way!) and delivering hamburgers. We managed to raise enough money to pay for 3 children to go on tour in one evening, and the sense of satisfaction amongst the team was indescribable. They learnt valuable lessons in economics, teamwork and working towards a common financial goal that night!
Our advice to all parents out there is to raise your children so they’ll have a positive emotional connection to money when they’re adults. Use any occasion possible to talk openly and positively about money to your children. They’ll thank you for it later. We promise.
Categories: Lifestyle Financial Planning