Sadly, many children are better at saving money than fully grown adults. That may be because they are better at following instructions than adults are at making decisions. When you tell a child to save for something and show them how they can have enough money to make a large purchase, you instantly see how driven that child is to achieve their goal. They may count their money on a daily basis and they will do odd jobs around the house, the garden and generally pester people enough to help increase the amount in their money box.
At what point do we lose the ability to focus our spending that seems to come naturally to many children?
The Art of Handling Responsibility
As adults, we obviously have a lot more responsibility than children do because we have bills to pay and a social life or at least our children expect us to provide a social life for them. Everything seems to cost money and even a walk in the park usually involves an ice cream or cold drink, which obviously costs money. There are rarely things we enjoy doing that cost us nothing and even the things we don’t like doing have a price. That could be why we find it almost impossible to save money at the end of some months because when all our bills go out, we just need that nice meal, weekend away or other special treat to remind ourselves that all our hard work if for a reason.
Making a Meal of it
Okay, so a nice meal is hardly going to break the bank, but if you pay for everything on credit, the chances are your meal is costing you a lot more than the food, drinks and tips are actually worth. This is because using credit cards, paying for treats using store cards or any finance-enabled purchase comes with an extra cost. This is another reason children are better with their money than adults are. Children have no way of obtaining credit and let’s face it, who would expect a child to clean their room tomorrow if we give them five pounds today for the job? That’s right; we all know the bedroom would never see a dust cloth. The thing is, children have no credit history and that stops them getting in debt with parents, but as parents, we are offered many routes to debt, but some of us are not equipped to deal with repayments.
The Forget about it Clause
Unlike student loans, where after thirty-something years your student loan debts disappear from your record if you have failed to repay them, the majority of debts are with us to stay. The debt collection industry has become a multi-billion pound beast in recent years with new companies sprouting up all the time, but that’s another thing children are good at. Tell your children to clean their bedroom today and you’ll give them a fiver tomorrow and you will not hear the end of it until they have a crispy note in their hand. Tell them they can have a new Xbox game at the weekend and your life will not be worth living until they have a controller in their hand.
Adults love to borrow money for large purchase like furniture, cars and extravagant holidays, but they are not the best at budgeting for repayments. Children however, are experts in finance and repayment schedules. If you have an unexpected knock on the door and someone is asking for a donation to a local charity, you may think it is fine to borrow a few pounds from your child. That is until you realize they are all over you like a rash until their money is bank in their piggy bank. Therefore, all children are born as debt collectors, savers and if your borrow money, you realise there are financiers too. Therefore, the question is, where did it all go wrong.
William Bancs is a blogger who has a keen interest in how children are better at saving money than adults. He suggests that if you need to borrow money, it would be wiser to get a cash advance, and not borrow it from your children.