4 Lessons To Teach Your Kids About Duit Raya
Children are the most excited when celebrating major festivals like Hari Raya, Deepavali or Chinese New Year, not just because they get to meet and play with their cousins, but also because of the duit raya or angpow that are given out each time.
Even though the younger children may not be aware of the value of money or how to manage it yet, they are still happy to receive them, making this the perfect time to instil the right money management habits.
Teaching kids about money is not easy and they often learn more from our actions than our words. To mould them to be good with their money is a long process, but by coinciding these important lessons with these memorable occasions, you will help them remember these lessons more vividly.
Make the most of this Raya to let your kids know the value of money, and most importantly, how to manage it wisely. Here are some small, but impactful ways you can start:
Be a good role model
Parents are a child’s first role models for learning money management skills. Like most life lessons, what we say does not carry as much weight as what we do.
Show your kids the difference between needs and wants whenever you bring them for a shopping trip. A packet of chocolate or potato chips is a want, but a bottle of milk for your child is a need.
Explain to them the difference, and with this habit instilled, they will naturally go through the same thought process whenever they need to buy something.
To spend or not to spend?
If your child is old enough to receive an allowance (be it daily, weekly or monthly), it is always best to teach them to save at least 20% of it.
However, when it comes to duit Raya, this rule should be reversed. Instead of saving 20%, the child should be taught to save 80%.
Teach them the beauty of saving in a junior savings account and earning an interest, by telling them how much money they have made by the next Raya. This will motivate them to save more and repeat this every year!
Delayed gratification is an important, and essential lesson
Like any kid, asking for new toys (even though they have hundreds of them lying at home already) is inevitable in almost every shopping trip.
With a huge amount of cash received during Raya, it is all too tempting for them to spend everything on toys or games.
However, by letting them do that, they will not learn how to manage their money. Ask your kids to sleep on it before making a financial decision. If after a week or a month, they still want the same toy (most often than not, they would have forgotten about it), then you can ask them to save up their allowance to buy it.
Giving rewards teaches the value of money
If you are giving your child duit Raya this year, think about his/her performance for the past year and match it to the amount you are planning to give. This inadvertently teaches them the relationship between performance and rewards – which is essentially what being employed is all about.
This life lesson is something that will be useful to your kids even when they go into adulthood.
Supporting the habits of saving and practising the age old theory of reward for work will make them understand the basics in a better way.
These simple tips above do not require the parents to do anything extraordinary, or incur extra expenses but by just changing their habits and taking opportunities to impart valuable lessons to your child. Once the seed has been planted, your child will expect the same every year when they receive their duit Raya.
The spirit of Raya has always been of moderation and sharing. Both these values should be taught to your child when it comes to money management.
Selamat Hari Raya and may this year bring you and your family joy and happiness!