There’s a neat line between financial sense and green living.
Those conscious of their spending will aim for sustainability. All-the-while those attuned for green living will naturally find ways to reduce their footprint (thus lowering expenses).
A child is very impressionable.
The largest impact you can create in your personal goals of greener living is through the education of your children. Especially in personal finance.
Here are some you can distill on the child while aligning to a brighter, cleaner future for our Earth.
Teaching Them: Comparison Shopping
Advertising and marketing pin-point our insecurities, urgency, and social status. The two do a great job at convincing us to make impulse purchases.
Those early years are your prime moments to help shape great habits. Teaching them comparison shopping will help them make informed decisions.
Something as simple as teaching them how to shop for items to reduce energy usage, making the home energy friendly, gives a great learning experience while reinforcing a sustainable lifestyle.
This can be done online, as well, by taking them to a website to compare energy costs and spending time to explain how to compare services and brands.
It’s a win/win experience for both.
Teaching Them: Negotiation Skills
Negotiation is where the largest savings come about.
Most consumers lock into contracts and rarely act to reduce their costs even if they are disgruntled by the service and the rising costs. They get annoyed but end up paying the bill regardless.
Bring your child over and have them listen in on a phone call made to an energy company, cable provider, or insurance company. Let them hear how you negotiate better rates. This exercise will become engrained in their mind.
When they’re older they will be negotiating better deals on bills. It will also help them during their career search!
Teaching Them: Savings Goals
What’s the point of teaching your child financial sense when there aren’t goals to reinforce the action?
The creation of savings goals is a lot like the routine of recycling (as oddly as that sounds). The action may not seem like it’s creating a large impact now but it does add to a cumulative difference.
It’s a balance between giving them an ample allowance after completing chores but low enough that they must decide between instant gratification or big wins. Once they see the value in saving and the reward for larger items they find ways to reinforce their decisions.
Teaching Them: Quality Indicators
A significant amount of the money we waste can be contributed to low-quality products.
These are products priced for our budgets but are possible because the build and materials won’t likely last. The quality indicators are those glaring differences between something replaceable and those items likely to last a lifetime.
The brands, guarantee, replacement policy, customer service, and history of the business are all such indicators. It falls in-line with comparison shopping. It’s taking the extra step to learn not just the product/service but the quality of the business behind it.
Quality items also have the added benefit of creating less waste!
Teaching Them: Self Help
Financial literacy is linked to self-help.
The saying “help yourself first” isn’t a narcissistic idea. It’s meant to convey that to help others you need to be a complete individual. This finds its way in finances when friends and/or family requests money.
We try our best to help close one’s but it can lead to difficult situations. Lending money you cannot do without places both parties in a financial rut especially if it’s not paid back on time.
Self-help will guide the child towards a better understanding of their personal limits. In time, they will have a strong enough financial independence where they can help loved ones in more ways than if they acted immediately.
What ways do you create dialog and practice to teach your children smart financial sense?