More than two-thirds of parents (68%) say their children are more or equally comfortable using digital payments than cash, according to findings from a survey published by Toronto-Dominion Bank Thursday.
80% of those parents, though, believe a cashless society could have a negative effect on young people, the survey finds. Parents worry kids will spend money too easily (58%), not realize the consequences of overspending (49%) or have a harder time learning the value of money (46%).
“Kids are becoming more and more digitally savvy. Whether it’s accessing an in-app game for a tablet or downloading music from a sharing site online, children are starting at a younger age to understand the concept of making digital purchases by witnessing their parents’ payment habits — often without realizing what it all means,” Rina DeGrazia, vice president, financial education at TD, says in a statement.
“As the payment environment continues to change, it is important to evolve the conversation of how we talk about money to help kids understand the landscape and help ensure they feel financially confident to make smart money decisions throughout life.”
Canadian parents tend to agree; over nine in 10 (91%) say it’s their responsibility to teach their children to use digital payments responsibly.
The survey also probed kids’ spending habits, finding that 63% spent money on food, 60% shopping in-store, 46% shopping online and 33% on entertainment purchases (music, movies, games, etc.)
“Regardless of how your kids pay to shop at the mall or for online and in-app purchases, it’s more important than ever to help your children keep track of how much they’re spending and to have ongoing conversations about how to manage their money responsibly,” DeGrazia says.
TD offers the following tips to teach financial literacy to children of various ages:
> Age 5 – 6: Introduce your child to money through board games or role-playing games that involve money, especially different forms of payment including coins, bills, debit cards and credit cards.
> Age 7 – 8: Take them to the bank to open their first savings account with online access, and encourage them to save a portion of their gift or allowance money.
> Age 9 – 10: Talk to your child about your job and what you do to earn an income, and show them how you’re paid. Talk about small ways they can start to earn money, including extra chores like walking the family dog, doing yard work, or being a “parents’ helper.”
> Age 11-12: Discuss your financial goals with your child. Show them how you budget and ask for their input on the family’s spending on vacations, holidays, gifts, etc.
> Age 13 – 14: Help your child track their spending. Review account balances and interest earned on deposits. At this age, introduce the concept of credit; show them your credit card bill and explain how interest charges work.
> Age 15 – 17: Teach your child about credit-worthiness and the importance of a good credit score. Ensure they understand that a good credit score can be achieved by always making timely payments on credit cards and utility bills, and that being mindful of this will help them when it comes time to get a student loan, car loan, or qualify for a mortgage.