It is unfortunately too common for us Indians to keep our girls away from money matters and financial planning. After all, why would she need it? Wrong.
Most women take a step back when asked to take any financial decision. Whether it is life insurance, investment, retirement planning, or even simple things like operating a bank account, we have a tendency to look at our male counterparts for assurance. We have been conditioned to think anything out of the household, especially related to finance, is a male territory. But thankfully, in the last 2 decades, the society has changed drastically, and women are more vocal about their money concerns and opinions. Still, we have a long way to go.
This Women’s Day take a pledge to make a conscious effort to teach your daughter valuable money lessons that will help her become independent in all aspects of life. Inculcate these in your daughter while she is growing up.
Start early and teach her the concept of earning by assigning chores.
I find the Western culture of paying children for doing household chores very effective to teach the value of money.
Hard work and sweat that goes into earning money automatically imparts many lifelong lessons. Start doing this with your girl. Assign her a simple chore – emptying the dishwasher, arranging her own cupboard, watering plants every day during her summer vacation – pick any – and give her reasonable money. Don’t pamper and go overboard while paying. The idea is to teach the value of sweat that goes into earning every Rupee. Extend this lesson by fixing it to a target. Tell her she can earn and save to buy her favourite toy.
Also talk to her about the importance of financial independence. Every girl should be brought up to value professional work and earning her own money, to make her truly empowered.
Give her the taste of saving money by getting her a piggy bank or opening her a savings account.
As important as it is to teach your girl the lesson of hard work, it is equally important to teach her the concept of saving.
Show your girl child how to save money. Assure her she can buy whatever she likes with that money. But don’t leave it at that. Give her a piggy bank where she can put her notes and change. Better still, take her to a bank and open a savings account in her name. This would give your daughter a sense of ownership and responsibility. It would surely impart a lesson to save.
More importantly, having a bank account in her own name, she would be more confident in dealing with money matters as a grown-up girl. There will be no initial hesitation.
Share your money concerns with her and tell her how you all can handle it as a family.
I don’t advocate preaching extremes to a child. Don’t tell them you are rich to an extent that you can afford anything. Also, don’t talk about your falling business in a straightforward manner in front of your 15-year-old.
Both these situations can be daunting for a child. Handle it with care, and share your money concerns in an age-appropriate manner. Start talking finances from a young age. Then build upon it. Every child’s sensitivity is different. Read your child’s nature and share. The most important lesson here is to tell your daughter how you will handle this situation as a family. If there is a cut in monthly income, what kind of sacrifices each person is expected to make to manage the household.
This early lesson would prepare your girl to handle any financial crises later on in life. She would also know the importance of family participation and sharing, which would give her mental and emotional strength as a grown-up woman.
Take her shopping and show the importance of being selective.
Never buy everything your daughter asks for in a single shopping trip no matter what the occasion is. Always ask your daughter to pick a thing or two. Set aside a budget.
This would help them in taking smart money decisions. Buy more useful items in the least amount of money. She will understand prioritising early in life. She will also understand how to be selective. These qualities go a long way in living life as a responsible adult.
Teach her smart money-saving tricks like bargaining.
Bargaining is a smart way to shop. I strongly believe bargaining is an art and the early we learn it, the more money we save in our lives.
It’s not only while negotiating the price at your local farmer’s market that bargaining comes handy, but the smart negotiating techniques your daughter would learn will also be helpful in her professional life as well. It makes them confident while discussing money-related matters out in the world. Don’t forget to take her with you to the market and teach her the finer nuances of bargaining.
Share how you manage or run the household in budget.
Managing a household is a challenging task. No matter how much a couple earns, with modern lifestyle money is always in short supply.
Give budgeting lessons to your daughter while she is growing up. Show her how you manage your pantry, produce, and seasonal things, to minimise wastage. When she reaches adolescence, sit down with her for a lesson and breakdown of your monthly finances. In case you have an emergency situation which you’ve handled smartly, make a point to share all the details with her. Such lessons not only give them wisdom but also imbibe a sensible lifestyle in your child.
Your teachings would mould your daughter into an independent young woman. Her ability to understand and manage finances would make her confident irrespective of her working status. Many marriages fail over financial issues. Sometimes a woman who is not financially savvy finds it hard to break away from a bad marriage. A good understanding of money-related issues would help your daughter take a stand for herself and manage her finances prudently.
What do you do to teach important money lessons to your daughter?
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: videoblocks
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A Company Secretary by profession, Saru found her true calling in writing. She blogs at
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