Whether your daughter is heading to uni after high school, starting her first job or currently engrossed in Peppa Pig, it’s important to talk to her about how to manage money. About the responsibilities involved with money and the benefits of being financially independent (read: preferably not living at home until you’re 45). OK, so most of that might be lost on little ones, but a Peppa Pig piggy bank won’t be.
Before you talk to your daughter, it’s a good idea to know what you want to cover. Budgeting is important. Setting goals is also up there. If she’s starting her first job, you might want to talk about checking payslips, and being aware of super and tax. Oh, and the big one: credit cards. Because smart and responsible use of credit cards (particularly for emergencies) is all part and parcel of growing up.
Once you’ve got your talking points covered, you could go full steam ahead with “the chat” but chances are you’ll be met with defiance or silence. The same reaction we’d no doubt have had at that age – not that we like to admit it!
The trick to starting a conversation about money with your daughter – and actually getting through – is to find things she’ll relate to. More than just situations, actual means of communication like websites, apps, newsletters and social media.
Websites like Ruby Connection are worth highlighting to your daughter. The brain-child of Westpac, it’s basically an interactive community dedicated to women’s finances. Home to heaps of valuable information particularly suited to young women, like budgeting tips, understanding super, careers advice and more, it’s the videos that will really resonate with your daughter.
Chances are she’s always on YouTube so send across a link to one of the videos and she can watch it once she’s done with Carpool Karaoke. They have a relatable style and feature young women talking about trade-offs between lifestyle and travel, for example, all of which makes the seemingly scary or grown-up subject of finances seem way more applicable to her. It’s a great way to get across the responsibilities of growing up without it feeling like a lecture from the ‘rents.
Another way in is the site’s fortnightly e-newsletter. Just like Lenny Letter (Lena Dunham from Girls' newsletter) the advice is real, helpful and directly applicable to them.
Instead of insisting that they join you at the financial advisor one time, make her aware of finance apps. The big banks have ones that will allow her to keep track of all transactions in and out of her account. If your daughter is moving into a flat share, the Flat Mate app is a way of being across splitting costs multiple ways. And TrackMySpend is great for those starting off in their career. It can help her see how quickly all those morning coffees and lunches add up and perhaps think twice about spending what could be a holiday, or a new pair of boots or Instagram’s latest favourite foundation.
Armed with these tools your daughter will feel more confident about her finances and find out how to discover financial independence on her own. Sure, you gave her a nudge in the right direction. But what are mums for?