“Like any life skill, if the child doesn’t learn it early on, it doesn’t mean the child will not be able to learn it later.”For a parent’s piece of mind, it is better to let kids begin experimenting with money when they’re still under your roof than when they’re out on their own. If you wait until they’re independent, the impact of their financial mistakes will be much greater. When your child’s debit card is under your watchful eye, you can monitor their decisions and engage with them around responsible spending and saving.
“For them it might be good to introduce pocket money. Then they have to save to buy things and you teach them the value of money,” says Polden.Laura Levine, chief executive of JumpStart Coalition – a US non-profit educating youth on financial literacy – says children vary in the speed at which they learn to handle money responsibly. She says some children may be ready from age 11 or 12, while others may not be until high school or later. “Generally, however, it is better to let them make mistakes under a parent’s tutelage,” she adds. Levine said it’s also equally important for parents to be ready to devote the time necessary to monitor the account, discuss spending and offer guidance.