TODAYS

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Raising Family: Learning money starts young.

"Mom, can I get this? Dad, can I buy this?" It is challenging to reply, "No, it is too expensive." However, we have learnt an answer that became a valuable tool to equip our children in their spending.

Money is a necessity, and yet some of us parents are afraid to discuss money matters with our children or teenagers, not even with our spouse. On the contrary, we should teach our children about money management. My husband and I intentionally made money matters an open topic in our home. The demands of buying will never stop, but we can teach our children the difference between 'wants' and 'needs'. I remember when our children were about 5 or 6 years old, each time we needed to shop a gift either for a friend or for them, the first thing we did was to inform our children of the budget. Then we would bring them to the toy shop to choose a gift that fits in our budget. At a young age, our children learn to read and comprehend price tags and their value.

It is vital that we do not see ourselves as their bankers or "ATM" but their financial advisors.

It is vital that we do not see ourselves as their bankers or "ATM" but their financial advisors. As we educate them on the process and advantages of budgeting and savings, they will begin to develop a good habit in managing their finances. Today, their wants are such as electronics, gadgets and technology that comes with a high price tag but it does not worry us as parents, because they have learnt to save up for it themselves. Over the years, they feel the pinch each time they spend on their savings for the things on their 'wish' list. Today they learn to make wiser choices and to invest and grow their savings.

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