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www.mn.catholic.org.au | Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle |
WHEN I WAS a young child, my father
would often say to me, "Save your
pennies and the pounds will look after
themselves." My parents grew up during
and after the Great Depression. Money
was scarce, times were very hard, and
everyone went without. Contrast this with
our lives today.
How many of us consider budgeting and
saving money to be important life skills
that we should teach our children? How
many of us, in the hustle and bustle of life,
take the time to explain to our children
how to manage money, how to save for
that special goal, or how to grow that
From a young age, children can learn to
appreciate the importance of money and
how to use it wisely. Be it pocket money, a
weekly allowance, a birthday present, pay
from a casual job or a reward for a good
exam result, most children appreciate the
gift of money. Conversely, most children
today also appreciate the benefits of the
material world they live in -- one with iPods,
iPads, iPhones, iTunes, and the all too
familiar list goes on. So many temptations!
$5 was deposited in a savings account
when a child started school, a further
$5 every fortnight, a $50 deposit on
their birthday, and when they turn 15 an
additional $20 per week from a casual job
- assuming a modest interest rate of 3% -
by the time they complete their HSC at the
age of 18, they would have over $6,000
saved. With relatively little sacrifice, they
have a sizeable nest egg to put towards
their first car, or perhaps an overseas
holiday; they have established a regular
savings pattern which in years to come will
stand them in good stead with the bank or
building society if they need to borrow for
a house or block of land - and they have
learned that patience and discipline reap
their own rewards. Those pennies have
turned into pounds!
By teaching our children to balance short
and long-term goals, by trading off all the
flavours of the month for just a few, by
learning that saving can be as rewarding
as spending, and that financial security
feels good, they will learn a lesson that
may well save them the anguish and
stress that can come from struggling to
make financial ends meet.
Spare a thought the next time your child
earns some pocket money or receives
a gift of money -- take the time to teach
them a lesson which may well become
their saving grace!
Felicia Sharman is Manager -- Finance
with the Catholic Development Fund.
By FELICIA SHARMAN
Q&A with Felicia's son, Jock Sharman
Q Your age and your school?
High School, Adamstown.
Q Is there a conflict between saving
and spending for you?
A Sometimes, yes. What I try not to
do is buy on impulse, and I always
budget to save something out of each
weekly pay. Having a goal to save for
Q What is your current saving goal?
A Since I started casual work, I have
begun saving for a car. It is a big
goal, and will take a few years, but
I really like the idea of having my
own transport and independence.
Q Do your friends support your
saving or tempt you to spend?
A Some of my friends are really good
savers and they sometimes talk me out
of buying things I mightn't really want
or need. Others spend every cent they
get. I try not to go to the shops with
Q Do you have any tips to help other
A Having a goal to focus on, whether
big or small, is really helpful. Setting a
budget where you 'spend some/save
some' is also a good idea.
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