“So I get a WhatsApp message from my friend Sinkie who was listening to Lesedi FM and the presenter said that in the last hour of the show they would be talking about “teaching children about money.” “
Sinkie sent me a WhatsApp and said, “Please listen to Lesedi FM they will be discussing financial literacy for kids.” I said to Sinkie, “It will be great to hear a different point of view from the guest on the topic.” Deep down I wondered why I was not called to be the one to talk about this important topic I wrote about in my children’s book, “African Wealth Little Money Bird.”
I then ask my publicist to listen. Two minutes after I asked her, she calls me back. She says, “Mothupi, you gonna laugh.” I am like, why, and she says, “Motsweding FM called me, the person who will be on the show is you.”
Sinkie was not ready when I told him that I would be the one on Motsweding FM.
The presenter asked the listeners to send voice note saying whether their kids know how to manage money or not. Most of the voice notes were about parents saying, “My daughter loves asking for R2. That child knows money. For her, it’s R2 or nothing.”
This is what most people think financial literacy for children is…moreover, imagine such a world. A world where we think kids know a thing about money when all they know is naming coins and paper. Naming cash is not even the basics of financial literacy.
Someone may be saying, “So, Mothupi if naming money is not financial literacy for kids, what is it?”
1. Go to SARS and get a tax number for your child. Then open a tax free savings account.2. Then collect coins with your child, let the child count coins.
3. 50% of the money must go to investments, 40% to expenses, and 10% to charity – why is this important. It teaches the kids that not all that is collected or saved must be consumed. There is a terrible money habit of collecting or saving money only to squander it the end of the year. Remember your kids don’t take the lessons you tell them, they take those you act out. Monkey see monkey do. 40% then is used for the child’s consumption from school money to buying toys. When you do groceries your child must have money from their expenses Jar to be used to buy what they need at the supermarket – don’t just ask your child to take whatever they need and drop it in your grocery basket for you to pay. They have to learn the value of things…
4. If you call your kids in excitement month end telling, then you are going to eat out because you got paid. You are teaching them to be consumers. Someone will say, “oooh hell no…I worked hard for my money. Cant I enjoy my money with my kids in peace?” You may, but you are not teaching any money lesson. Imagine if you told your kids, “Guys I worked so hard and did so well…now let’s celebrate. Alternatively, after your daughter gets good results at school, you say, “we are going to celebrate your hard work by eating out.” Hard work becomes the lesson, not, “I got paid let’s go use the money.”
5. We must be ready to raise portfolio investment kids – my child will receive a birthday investment. Not big birthday parties that are not even for kids but alcohol consumption for adults. R7000 birthday investment that is invested in stocks, cryptos, and money market create a good investment portfolio for the child. By the time she is 21, she will have a portfolio to keep building as she will be reviewing her portfolio every month from 7years till 21. That is 14 of investment experience by the time she is 21. You can’t learn about money if you have none of it.
6. Today we have life covers – do you think it is such a smart idea leaving such a lot of money with children who know nothing about money. They will blow it. So teaching them from a young age must be an essential component of your legacy.
I don’t want to give out too much from my book. The truth is that the book was written in one day, from 6 am till 7 pm. It was not such a simple book to read since I had to think about ways to simplify the concepts for kids. The book is about a girl called Pesa. Who travels the African continent and she does she picks up money and business lessons.
Since publishing the book has been featured on Power FM, SA FM, Radio2000, Lesedi FM, Motsweding FM, Merafong FM, and Kofifi FM. We have also kickstarted our financial literacy for kids which is an after-school programme to teach kids about money and business. Next year this will be an NGO creating the curriculum and activities to teach financial literacy in schools.