Financial Planning For Kids

Starting with a simple Savings Account … The purpose of Money

Most mothers start their kids ‘financial literacy course’ with the piggy bank / celengan.

I think this is wrong.

Piggy bank gives children the wrong sense of belonging towards money.

The idea that they can put coins into the piggy bank slots only create eagerness to drop more coins, without actually learning about the basic purpose of money.

I did the same thing. I gave them piggy banks so they can drop coins into it. We tried to take it away, explaining to them that it was time to go the bank and deposit the money. As it turned out, they did not want to part with the piggy banks, they wanted to ‘see’ the money next to their beds.

This is in true ‘violation’ to the TUJUAN LO APA philosophy. Money must have real purposes in our lives. Money is not something you just pile and does absolutely nothing for no timeline. There has to be a point when you need to use money to make your life better.

So we switched our tactics quickly.

We opened 2 savings accounts under my name, QQ with my children’s names.

Remember the LEBARAN angpao my children had last year? Half of which they have spent on their favourite overpriced toys. Something that we reluctantly approved for the sake of fulfilling TUJUAN LO APA. The other half goes to their savings accounts.

My kids lined up happily in front of the teller desk, each holding a saving passbook, an envelope with what’s left of their Lebaran angpao and a deposit form.

The lesson was valuable.

My kids used to think that we ‘buy’ money from the ATM. They have experienced it themselves that they have to earn money – in this case they received it during Lebaran. Also they actually deposited the money they earned into their own bank account. My son is starting to read and you can just imagine the glory of reading your own name on your first savings passbook.

These days, the conversations we have about money are becoming more and more important.

Azra : Aku uangnya dari mana? Dari Eyang, dari Pakde, dari Aki sama Nini ya? Kalau Mama sama Ayah uangnya dari mana?

Wina : Dari kerja dong. Kan kita kerja terus sama kantor dikirim ke bank nya Mama. Baru bisa diambil di ATM.

Azra : Kalau aku mau beli Power Ranger lagi, uangnya udah cukup belum?

Wina : Belum, kan harus ditambah lagi dong.

Azra : Kalau gitu aku mau kerja supaya uangnya nambah ya Ma?

I was going to cry, but my daughter successfully ruined the dramatic moment by singing a medley of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star – Kenangan Terindah (Samsons) – and Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Points of the whole activities are :

  1. Money doesn’t grow on a tree, you have to earn it. Whether you work as an employee or you run your own business or you earn it from your investment, you have to earn your money. That way, you’ll appreciate it more.
  2. You can use your money but it doesn’t buy everything you want, everything in this world has a limit. If you want more, you have to put more effort in the process of earning your money. 

It’s a lot to comprehend for my 5 and 2 year old kids.

But I think it’s also a nice to way to remind ourselves as adults. Money has a purpose. We have to gain control over our money, not the other way around.

Finance Should be Practical!

Ligwina Hananto


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