Your financial habits will often rub onto your children. If you are always not paying your obligations, chances are they will be poor at it too, writes SIMON ANYONA
There are parents who dread tagging their children along to the shopping mall for the monthly household shopping. This is because there is bound to be drama, iced with embarrassment as the child calls all attention in the supermarket to you with their wild tantrums demanding for this and that to be bought for them.
For many, it is not child’s play to control their child’s temptations when he enters a mall or a huge toy store. Also the temptation of loosening your purse strings just because your child has set his eyes on a jazzy remote-controlled car or a flashy gun also usually rages.
But this ‘your wish is my command’ technique is not a healthy practice. Hence it is in the best interest of both the child and parents to instill financial discipline and adopt the technique of ‘value buy’ from early days.
But how is this done? According to Esther Njeri, a financial planner and investment mentor with Diamond Investments Limited, parents contribute a lot to the financial problems their children face in adulthood.
“Your answer to this simple quiz here will prove this. How much money do you have in savings? Do you often find yourself laden with debt? Are you always being penalised for not paying your bills on time? Do you often find that you have too much month at the end of the money? Are you always ambushed by financial obligations such as school fees, hospital expenses, monthly rent, car loan or mortgage repayment?” poses Esther.
She notes that, when faced with some or all the above financial challenges, many tend to blame the harsh economic times, the rampant rate of inflation, their employers for paying peanuts or the landlords for being so punctual in demanding their dues.
“However, what many don’t realise is that the financial problems they face could be the result of their upbringing. Parents contribute to this by failing to instill and nurture key financial values and disciplines at an early age,” says Esther.
She reveals that many middle aged Kenyans lack adequate financial planning skills thereby giving rise to a large cross section of Kenyans with a low savings culture, a huge appetite for debt and who remain perennially broke.
“But they are not to blame. They were just not given basic money management lessons by their parents,” she says with grin.