Mothers really do know best. They know what we’re thinking even before the thought enters our head, they know how we feel when we’re happy or brokenhearted, they know when we’re being reckless with our life, and they know what’s good for us.
They have a saying for everything, especially about money, love, hard work, and financial wellbeing. “Kung may tinanim, may aanihin” is our version of “You reap what you sow”; and “Ang kita sa bula, sa bula rin mawawala” or “A fool and his money are soon parted,” among many other nuggets of wisdom they routinely dispense.
Such wisdom on raising children—especially financially literate children—was discussed at FWD Life Insurance’s FinLit (Financial Literacy) Live’s third episode livestreamed on Facebook and hosted by Aaron Castillo. Guest panelists include mommy bloggers and entrepreneurs who are all hands-on in raising their children while running businesses.
The mothers on the panel have kids of different ages, from toddlers to teenagers, and they all agree that money lessons should start even when the kids have no idea about money yet. They all provided them with alkansya or piggy bank when they were still toddlers; in fact, even some of the mommies still keep their own piggy banks. When kids see money literally being put away in a piggy bank, it illustrates to them the concept of saving money for a rainy day.
If you have more than one child, open a junior savings account for each of them. Allocate a monthly amount to deposit and part of extra money like your bonuses. Mommy Ely Sitchon of Filipina Homebased Moms was also thinking far ahead into the future that she got investment-linked insurance when her child was not even a year old. What a lucky child to have so much time for her money to grow! “Napa-paranoid kasi ako,” Ely says. “At least pag may nangyari sa amin, may maaasahan siya.”
FWD Life Insurance’s Babyproof helps you secure your child’s future by growing your money and providing life protection. Babyproof is especially designed for your baby’s needs: from life protection and investment to hospital and ICU allowance, should you need it. You’ll get medical allowances if your child gets hospitalized. And if ever something happens to you, FWD will shoulder all the premiums and your child will remain covered.
Only 40% of Filipinos have savings. Of those, only 33% keep their savings in formal institutions like banks. Mommy Ciara Magallanes, founder of Mommy Diaries PH which has 1.2 million Facebook followers, says, “I can relate! I didn’t use to have savings in the bank because we were living from paycheck to paycheck. Nung nakaluwag na kami, I would put our money literally under the bed, which made it easy to spend.” Now, she says, she puts their savings in a bank, as well as investments because “it’s more secure and less easy to spend.”
Mommy Maria Korina Betulfo aka Mommy MK, founder of Filipina Homebased Moms, had the same experience. When she was working in the corporate world all her salary went to paying off debts. It was only when she became a homebased entrepreneur that she was able to save money and put it in a cooperative, bank, insurance, and investments.
Well, first, who should manage the budget? The better money manager, that’s who! And you can only know this when both spouses try it. Mommy Ciara shares, “Dati pinagkakasya namin ang buhay namin sa halagang P300 to P500 a week! We did trial and error to determine who can manage it better. We allocate money for savings, expenses, retirement, the kids’ future, helping others, and treats when there’s sobra.”
It depends on their age. When they don’t have a concept of money yet—like when they’re in nursery or preschool—food baon can also teach them about budgeting when you take them to the supermarket. You can teach them to avoid the brand name mentality by showing that popular brand names are more expensive but not necessarily better. For the older kids, an allowance will teach the lesson of stretching their money and not spending it all in one day.
You can do sermons every day about the importance of saving money but when your children see you splurging on things that you don’t need, those lessons will be lost in the wind. Showing them needs vs. wants is teaching them the value of money when they see you prioritizing needs over wants.
“Also teach them life skills. Kami, literally, we taught her kung paano magluto so marunong na siya,” Mommy Ciara of Mommy Diaries PH says. “Na-witness niya when we really had nothing that we couldn’t even buy her toys. Now when we go to the mall I give her money, say P500, so she can budget whether she will buy a toy or snacks.”
When the children are very young, playing with play money and board games like Monopoly can also help. Mommy Ely concludes, “Use play to relate real-life situations and initiate conversations in simple language. Challenge them just enough, encourage independence, and introduce diskarte early. Kasi most of us learned about financial wellbeing and financial planning late, di ba? Now we have the opportunity to teach them early.”
Watch FWD’s FinLit episode with these mommies for more money lessons for children here.