Lockdown lessons: teaching your kids financial literacy and business skills

09 Apr 2020

While parents look for creative ways to entertain and educate their kids during lockdown, managing a business from home can be a good opportunity to demonstrate basic financial literacy and business skills in action, says leading software provider MYOB.

MYOB NZ country manager Ingrid Cronin-Knight says working from home can be a challenge – particularly with the kids at home too – but it can be the perfect opportunity to teach them about your job while providing them with basic financial literacy and business skills.

“Talking through what you are doing can help kids connect financial skills with the reality of running a business,” says Ingrid Cronin-Knight.

“It can also provide them with a unique way to develop real world skills – while also gaining an understanding of why Mum or Dad’s screen time or phone calls are so important to the family.”

Financial literacy

Kids are learning more about financial literacy and business skills in school through organisations such as FiftySix Creations – which operates financial literacy and entrepreneurial workshops in schools – but strong financial habits and behaviour begin in the home.

“Teaching your kids to have an understanding of financial and business principles can create positive financial behaviour,” says Ingrid Cronin-Knight. “Beginning with the basics such as saving, setting goals and understanding the movement of money can build good money habits from a young age.”

MYOB’s top tips for teaching financial literacy at home:

For kids 5 years +

Savings: using a clear jar as a money bank can help kids see their savings increasing, as opposed to a plastic piggy bank. Make a big deal of the money going in the jar, and note how each time they add to this, they are closer to reaching their goal. Now is a good time for kids to learn how to save while shopping is deferred during the lockdown.

Money awareness: begin building money awareness into everyday conversations. You could ask; is this a want or a need?

For kids 7 years +

Financial goals: tell your kids about one of your financial goals for your business and how you plan to reach it. Ask your kids to come up with a goal and ask them how to create a plan to achieve it.

For kids 10 years +

Instant gratification: if your kids want a new toy, come up with a savings plan and explain why you cannot purchase an item every time you see something you like. Create a visible chart where they can earn towards the goal. Give them some examples from your business.

Basics of running a business

Ingrid Cronin-Knight says teaching sales and customer service skills can be a fun way to educate your kids about the foundations of your business – while getting them to understand the role you play in your organisation.

“Showing your kids how to greet and speak to customers can be the perfect introduction to discussing why you have to have meetings and phone calls, and just maybe, they’ll transfer some of those skills to talking to you!”

Importance of cashflow

Understanding where cash is coming and going from is a crucial part of life for any business owner and creating sound budgets will improve the life and security of the business – a lesson kids can learn early on to help them develop good money management habits.

“Household chores can be a good way to teach kids about cashflow,” says Ingrid Cronin-Knight. “If kids complete their chores and get a reward, explain the importance of cashflow and what it means for them.”

Budding entrepreneurs

One of the real strengths of New Zealand business is the level of creativity and inventiveness seen across the economy, especially in start-up businesses, Ms Cronin-Knight says.

“Kids have boundless creativity. Getting them to think about how they could channel some of their ideas into a successful business is a fantastic way – especially for older children – to encourage that entrepreneurial mindset.”

Parents who have budding entrepreneurs at home can sign them up for free online entrepreneurial education with MYOB and Business Camp Academy NZ. The online classes offer the opportunity to experience the highs and lows of building their very own business.

To find out more or to sign up, visit www.businesscampacademy.co.nz


For more information please contact:

Janelle Ericksen, MYOB, PR Specialist
M:021 1050 490 / E: janelle.ericksen@myob.com

Gerard Blank, The Agency Communications Limited, Director
P: 03 341 5841 / M: 0275 243 629 / E: gerard@theagencynz.co.nz

About MYOB

MYOB is a leading provider of cloud-based business management solutions. With an offering of over 50 solutions, MYOB makes life easier for approximately 1.2 million businesses across Australia and New Zealand. The MYOB software spans the full lifecycle of a business from sole traders to larger enterprises with over 1,000 employees. MYOB also provides ongoing support to a network of over 40,000 accountants, bookkeepers and other consultants. They are committed to ongoing innovation, particularly through the Connected Practice Strategy and through development of the MYOB Platform. For more information visit myob.com or follow @MYOB on Twitter.