Money, money, money: Children as financial decision makers

Written By

Bindu Bhat

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The last time we went to a movie, the decision between Kung Fu Panda and Jungle Book was made by our child, similarly when we decided to purchase a new washing machine. We discovered that the youngest member of our family had conducted research on technical aspects we were barely aware of. I’m sure that when we eventually decide to change our car, the situation is going to be similar, all the more so since cars are his passion!

Children have the amazing capacity of being able to absorb and pull up enough facts on their pet topics to give Gadget Guru or Chikflix a run for their money. But along with being fact oriented, they are highly influenced by their peers too! If you’ve had your child letting you know that  all his classmates have been abroad but him, you know what I mean!

While we teach our children to ace their academics and sports with a zeal that could put Virat Kohli to shame, we forget that they need to be coached to be financially literate, too!

So, let’s start with this quiz to help you determine your child’s financial personality. Answer the following statements/questions with a simple YES / NO.

  1. You give your child money, and he or she prefers to save it.
  2. Your child loses or misplaces money often.
  3. You often hear the words “I want, I want” when you go shopping with your child.
  4. If you ask your young one, “Why do you want this?” does he or she often say, “Because my friend has it” or “I saw it on TV”?
  5. Is your child reluctant to spend any of his or her own money?
  6. Your child gets delighted in seeing his/her bank account grow.
  7. If your child sees a rupee on the ground, will he go out of his way to pick it up?
  8. Your child decides to save for a special toy, and then later chooses not to buy the toy at all.
  9. If you say no to the suggestion of ice cream or pizza, does your child ask, “Can we have it, if I pay for it?”
  10. You travel on a vacation, and your youngster wants to bring presents back to all his or her friends.

And the scores reveal:

If you answered “YES” to questions 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8, you have a careful SAVER on your hands.  A “YES” answer to questions 2, 3, 4, 9, and 10, you have a happy SPENDER on your hands.

Now, the next tricky part, how would you fare on a similar quiz for yourself (if you replace the situations with adult-appropriate ones)? So now you know where your child gets his or her habits from.

Many of us have made mistakes in our financial decisions and would thus like our children to grow up better prepared in money matters than we are. In the next write up, we will see a few ideas on how to guide your children to handle money better. This learning journey is both interesting and fun.


Read the previous installment of Bindu’s Money, Money, Money series: Five Steps to your Dream Sabbatical here.




A happy mother-cum-financial-planner-cum educator; community volunteer, avid traveller and history buff; Bindu loves it all. Along with being a mom to her 12 year old, Bindu is also discovering more sides to herself after crossing the '40' milestone and is enjoying the journey thoroughly. Bindu believes that working as a Financial planner gives her the fabulous opportunity of seeing people make positive changes in their money habits. And to catch them young, she conducts financial literacy programs at schools and communities. She's a Mathematics grad and Finance post-grad from Amchi Mumbai, worked with a banking group and a Hyderabad based start up, before finding her niche as a Financial Planner, based in Hyderabad.

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