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Expert: It is always best to be prepared

05/24/2009 11:46 PM | By Rabab Khan, Community Journalist

Schlatter believes that early education is essential for later years. She said: "As we grow up, we have a responsibility to provide for our families and the constant stress can cause physiological problems and an inability to attain a balance in life. It is always best to be prepared."

Schlatter suggests that money should be portrayed as an important tool for exchange.

She said: "Parents should start off by giving their children a small allowance each week.
However, children could be given a few tasks around the house in order to ‘earn' the money."

When it comes to saving, Schlatter is supportive of the ‘trial and error' method.

She said: "If your children wants to purchase the latest computer game that costs Dh200, explain to take them how long it would take to save for it. If they get Dh25 per week and save it all, it would take them two months to buy it. However, if they purchase something else along the way, it would take them longer. The trial and error process will help them learn about how to manage their money."

Once the game is purchased, Schlatter thinks that the respect for the item would be high as they are aware how hard it was to save money for it.

She said: "This will also impact when they accidentally break things in the house. The fact that a Dh200 vase was broken in an instant may hold more weight now."

Tips given by Schlatter for parents to educate their children:

- Give them their money in small denominations to encourage that a percentage be saved. Instead of a Dh20 note, give them four Dh5 notes.

- Give them some space and time to make their own decisions. Don't reprimand them for not taking the best approach as it is all about learning.

- Teach them about social responsibility. Some families may like to give a percentage of money saved to those in need or to a charity.

- Simple shopping excursions are another opportunity to educate them. They can be taught about discounts and comparing prices.

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