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Thursday, July 05, 2007


If you would like you child to become a florist you would naturally expose your child to an environment of flowers, gardens, growing, premises, business plans, marketing plans and general finance.

If you wanted you child to be a farmer then it would help if you owned a farm or had the money to buy a farm. It would also help if you took your child on farming holidays – to see a wide range of farming activities. Your child would also need to learn about European Community grants as well as loans from agricultural banks.

If you want you child to be able to look after money then it could be an idea to introduce the idea of saving. In the beginning there is money in the piggy bank and money taken out. These calculations sort out addition and subtraction.

Later on concepts of percentages and more complex mathematics problems can be introduced.

If you need to be able to teach your child about motivation then having to save for a period of time can be a great motivator. Saving for a bicycle or new clothes can provide a great incentive. After all working out how long it will take to save for a desired item could involve multiplication and division.

Every now and then you may feel you have to loosen the reins and encourage your child have a splurge. After all this is what you hope you can do every now and then.

To encourage saving you may consider matching your child’s saving. You could match pound for pound or even match a percentage. For every pound your child saves you add 50%. You could even add 150% for special items and circumstances.

And then you can to the part that every parent really enjoys – because of the power it gives you. You act as the banker. You can advance money for good propositions. You can reject what ever you like – you have the purse strings. You can set an interest rate or even offer a loan interest free. You can offer payment windows – or even interest relief. To some parents these negotiations must be better than monopoly because the effects of the negotiations last much longer.

One thing you are going to have to do is to keep records. Tie it all down in writing – especially if one sibling is borrowing from another. Maintaining written documents or even spreadsheets will help your child’s preparation for life.

Suppose an eleven plus question came up:

William borrowed £10.00 from his sister. He had to pay 10% interest if the loan was not paid in time. How much did he have to pay his sister if he made an initial late payment?

Being able to answer this question correctly could avert a family fight and could also give an answer a question on an eleven plus paper.

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