Both women and men need to be financially literate to effectively participate in economic activities and to take appropriate financial decisions for their future, however, women often have less financial knowledge and lower access to formal financial products than men.
This sometimes has to do with upbringing, where parents refrain from exposing their female children to knowledge and tools that can lead them to financial freedom in adulthood. Traditional beliefs and cultural practices that relegate women to non-economic roles in the society is often to blame for this, along with unfounded fears that girls exposed to the rudiments of money from a young age may become wayward in search of the same later in life.
To avoid raising financially ignorant girls, it is imperative to start early to inculcate in them simple financial lessons that will enable them to take charge of their finances in adulthood. Leading by example, making learning fun, talking (and sometimes arguing) with your daughters, are important ways to groom them into becoming confident, financially savvy and independent women.
Learn about money: You can’t give what you don’t have
Averagely, children spend more time with their mothers, so women play a central role in coaching and mentoring their girls (and indeed, boys) on how to be responsible members of society. Because of the role that parents, particularly mothers play in the lives of their children, it is only logical that they understand the basics of money and finance first, before attempting to transfer the knowledge to their daughters. Learning is enhanced when it is open and sincere. Telling your daughters about the mistakes you made in managing your finances is a strong and sure way to drive home the lessons intended from recounting your experiences.
Help your daughters find their niche
Teach your girls the value of hard work and persistence in every facet of their lives, while they go through formal education and as they begin to take baby steps into building a career for themselves. In the past, girls shied away from STEM subjects because they were erroneously believed to be the exclusive preserve of boys. Encourage your daughters to take STEM classes and support them to excel in this area. Robotics classes, leadership classes, and Taekwando (self-defence) classes are also helpful in many ways to the girl-child.
Fan the embers of entrepreneurship to create the first foundations of the next generation of businesswomen. Study with them, the lives of leading women in the society making their marks in diverse fields of endeavour and help your daughters identity their core areas of strength and the aspects where they excel effortlessly.
It is also important to create time to listen to your daughters, understand their interests, challenges, and the career paths they want to take in life. Once you have discovered that, encourage, guide and support them into actualizing their objectives.
Cultivate the habit of savings
It is imperative to start early to mentor them on the importance of savings. Inculcating this habit in them at an early age will help them to be more careful with money once they start earning. Teach them to always put aside money for saving which they will later use for investment. To make this more interesting, buy a piggy bank for them (Kolo) so they can save their allowance in it.
Buying your daughter a money box and guiding her to save her spare change makes the child less wasteful. Teach your daughter the concept of disciplined savings by not letting her open the box till it is full and there is no room left.
Making learning fun by playing money games
To make learning about finance easy and exciting for girls, it is important to introduce fun games to it. Fun games will make it easier for them to understand finance better. This is because kids tend to learn better by doing things themselves. So, playing money games that teach kids the different values of bills and coins, how to handle money, and even economics and entrepreneurship is a great way to introduce these concepts and it will help them manage their finance in the future. Some of these games are Monopoly, Money match me, Money bag game, Moneywise kids, Payday, etc.
Be a role model: Toot your own horn
If you are good at managing your finances, it is a huge plus for you and your daughters as it makes it significantly easier for you to explain basic money management principles to them. As they grow, you can show them your bank statements and teach them how to manage cash flow. It is also a good way to teach them how much it costs to be a responsible adult fending for the family’s needs. They will come off the experience not only proud of you, but with a greater appreciation for hard work and diligent money management.
Avoid being a liability: Embrace the act of being independent
Teach your daughters the value of financial independence and where it matters, collaborative work that assures win-win situations for all parties involved. The mindset of sole reliance on the wealth of others and in particular, latching on to wealthy life partners solely to leech on their wealth, should be dismantled as girls grow into young women. Encourage them instead to find their own feet and chart their own course, learning to spot and take advantage of opportunities that they encounter in the course of their lives and career pursuits.
Be their guardian angel: A guide to actualizing their aim
Living as a smart money woman is a lifestyle you should encourage your daughter to have, and this can be achieved by giving them the best education, guiding them on the right career path and listening to them to understand what they want in life. It also has to do with calling them to order, especially when they exhibit bad habits that will be detrimental to their future.
Some of these habits can be extravagant spending, impulse buying, etc. Because they are young, some of them will not understand that these behaviours will harm them in the future. As a mother, it is your job to call them to order. Talk to them calmly and if you notice that they are repeating the same mistakes, devise creative means of curbing such behaviours.
In conclusion, what you teach your daughter, female pupils, or nieces about money can help to shape their future and make them better members of society. Remember, it is always better to catch them young!