Nausheen Shamsher, a 36-year-old Indian expat in the UAE, has been teaching her daughter the value of money since she was 8 years old. Now aged 11, Amatullah Arsiwala knows how important it is to save money and spend it on the right things.
“It is important for children to realise the value of money, and this can be done only when they start young. As parents, we have ensured that our child is exposed to finances right from the start. She not only understands the value of money, but is also capable enough to decide where and what to spend on,” said Shamsher, a public relations professional.
No pocket money for now
Considering her daughter is only 11 years old, Shamsher does not give her a monthly allowance for now. However, the mother rewards her daughter with small amounts of money whenever Amatullah helps with household chores, scores well in exams, or does things on her own. Recently, the daughter was thinking of auctioning her paintings to make some extra bucks.
“This not only lifts her spirits, but also helps her value the money. She sets aside the money she earns as savings. When her birthday approaches, she buys herself a gift with that, which mostly includes accessories and footwear,” Shamsher added.
Amatullah saves all the money she earns in a money box. Her mother intends to open a bank account for her when she turns 15, and is in a better position to understand finances. For now, the daughter accompanies her mother during bank visits. “She’s not only fascinated by its operations, but is also looking forward to having her own account someday,” the mother explained.
It is important for children to realise the value of money, and this can be done only when they start young
However, the mother said the school her daughter attends does not impart any lessons in financial literacy. “I haven’t heard from my daughter ever about any tips that the school has offered.”
Influence of peers
Shamsher occasionally finds it challenging to convince her daughter when she gets influenced by her peers’ spending habits. “While at most times, it’s easy to explain and control it, there are times when we have to just give in. However, as a parent, I always tell her about underprivileged children, who have access to nothing. While this helps her understand the importance of wise spending, it is not always the best solution to stop her from being influenced by her peers,” the mother observed.
Although the parents do not share details of the family bills with their daughter, Amatullah is aware about her fees for tuitions, school, speech and drama. “This is to only ensure that she understands that nothing comes free and is focused on learning and carving a niche for herself,” Shamsher said.
Financial pitfalls to avoid
The couple has not educated their daughter so far about financial pitfalls to watch out for. “However, considering the current global situation, we are slowly helping her understand what a financial pitfall can look like. It seems like a daunting task, but am sure we will be able to manage it gradually,” the mother shared.