Principal's March Update
Dear Sangster Parents,
I recently had a conversation with a student about the value of money. I began thinking about how students learn fiscal responsibility, even as early as elementary school. Most elementary students learn the basics of money such as identifying coins and making change but will not learn how to manage money until they are older. In our society today, many people do not carry cash and use debit and credit cards. However, children still need to understand the value of money and what these electronic cards mean.
One way elementary students learn the value of money over time is having an allowance. Saving, decision-making, planning, sharing, charity, and responsibility are some of the lessons taught through an allowance. One of the benefits of an allowance is learning to develop independent thought. As they manage their allowance, their money management skills will improve. Expect students to do some unexpected things with their allowance but allow them to make mistakes now. Try not to rescue them with more money and help them work through solutions, to mirror real-life. Some banks also offer children’s accounts that offer no-fee and no-minimum balance accounts.
Children frequently ask to buy new things like new games, new shoes, or going out to dinner. Sometimes children do not understand that these items are not in the budget. Another idea includes creating a “Family Spending Journal.” For two weeks, everyone keeps a record of what they spent money on. Items listed include gas money, the electric bill, food at the grocery store, etc. The children write down expenses such as school lunch, soccer cleats, field trip fees, etc.. Older children are capable of understanding concepts in these discussions such as insurance, taxes, homeowner association membership dues, and other expenses.
Like so many things in life, adults lead by example for our children. Understanding the value of money does not occur over night and is a life-long skill that children learn through examples. I hope some of these tips help.
Lisa M. Reddel