Point of view: Financial lessons I teach my kids

Here are three things that I view as the most important to improve my kids' financial literacy.

Here are three things that I view as the most important to improve my kids' financial literacy.

Published May 12, 2024


Tomorrow marks Mother’s Day, and I would like to reflect on what it is to be a mother, and especially a working mom. I am a mother to three beautiful kids, and I also have nephews and nieces. Being a mom has been wonderful, but taking care of my kids financially has been a blessing. Here are three things that I view as the most important to improve my kids’ financial literacy.

In my journey as a mom, and as a personal finance editor I have learnt that saving for a rainy day is essential. I know in this economy that is volatile it is difficult to save, but I put aside as little as R250 per month into Tax-Free Savings Accounts (TFSAs). I teach my kids how crucial it is to save.

According to Caroline Naylor-Renn, 10X Investments, COO, with TFSAs, contributions are not tax-deductible, but any interest, dividends, or capital gains earned within the account are tax-free. TFSA contributions are subject to annual limits set by the South African Revenue Service (Sars). At present, those limits are around R36 000 annually and R500 000 over your lifetime.

“For those who may not be familiar with TFSAs, they were first introduced to South Africa in 2015. The idea behind these accounts is to try and encourage a culture of saving among South Africans, something which has been a major issue in the country for several years now. The household saving rate in South Africa currently sits at -1.10%. That means that the vast majority of households are spending more money than their current income allows for,” Naylor-Renn says.

For my kids, I also use transparent jars so that they can practically see how much money they are accumulating.

As a mother, it is also important for me to teach my kids about financial literacy. I teach my kids to understand the value of money, by showing them the importance of comparing prices, budgeting, and investing.

I teach them that when it comes to money, they must make distinctions between needs, wants, savings, or paying off debts. Having money can lead to impulse buying. I teach them that drawing up a budget could prevent unnecessary spending which might lead to debt. While debt can sometimes be not bad, there are times we find ourselves in debt that could have been avoided by budgeting wisely.

I have an open communication with my kids about financial matters. I have created an environment where my children feel comfortable discussing money matters. I also include my eldest in my family discussions about major financial decisions.

I have also learnt speaking to a financial advisor is important. An adviser can provide invaluable guidance on different money-saving ways and can provide you with how to handle money matters in the future.

To all the mothers out there, may you have a blessed Mother's Day tomorrow.