Tips & tricks for a healthy financial education

With Eef van Opdorp, money coach
“Starting from the positive is so much nicer than starting from the negative.”

The value of money
You know the saying: “At the end of my money, there is always a bit of month left.” This famous piece of wisdom originally comes from Loesje, but applies to many of us. Not everyone, but many face challenges to make ends meet every month. Especially now that everything seems to be getting more expensive by the week. With a bit of luck, you have had a good financial upbringing at home and you know how to pass this on to your own children. But even then, stability and balance in your spending pattern and saving are not always easy. This is also shown by a recent study by Deloitte, which shows that three quarters of Dutch households do not have sufficient control over their financial situation. But how do you teach your children the value of money? How do you say no when all other parents say yes? How do you determine the allowance for your child? In short, how do you ensure a healthy financial upbringing and prevent your children from saying, as adults: “At the end of my money, there is always a bit of the month left”?

GoStudent offers online tutoring for children, by linking students to tutors on the basis of personality, interests, favourite sport, hobbies and of course level and objectives. But there are so many more things that play a role in the education of children than just the subjects they study in school. Therefore, in addition to providing information about school-related matters, GoStudent also tries to share information about all other matters that are important in the life of a child and the family.

In a series called Expert Talk, GoStudent talks to experts in specific fields, who set out various subjects that can help a parent or educator in educating their child. This time, the topic is money. This article has been written in collaboration with money coach Eef van Opdorp. Eef has been working as a budget coach and trainer for more than 20 years and is the author of Pubers & Poen (Teenagers & Money). In her book, Eef shares what parents can do to give their child a financially strong and worry-free future.

Eef: “Learning something as child really means doing it is an adult.”

How to teach children the value of money?
As with almost everything: talk about it! Now this does not mean that you have to tell your children exactly what comes in every month, but perhaps what the average income is and what this income should be used for. Not just the mortgage or the rent, but also groceries, insurance, training, vacations, outings and unforeseen costs. By making this transparent, children get a better picture of a family’s spending pattern, they learn to understand the necessity of money and they can put the value of these things into better perspective. To live, we need money, so give them this insight. Be transparent. Even when it comes to the less fun things such as the risks of money, such as online gambling. It is not inconceivable that the digital generation will come into contact with this at some point. So make sure your child knows what’s going on.

After talking comes doing! Teach your child to make their own choices so that they understand the value of money. A fun (and useful for you) idea might be to send your kids out for grocery shopping with a list and cash. That way they get an idea of ​​what products cost. And the more aware they become of this, the more self-confidence it gives them. In addition, based on age, you can also involve your children in the financial choices you have to make. Explain to them what your considerations are and how you arrive at certain choices.

How to contribute to a stable financial future for my child?
A lack of resources, any resources, can cause stress. And stress often has a negative influence on your daily life. To prevent you and your child from experiencing money stress at a later age, GoStudent and Eef have listed a number of tips that can contribute to a stable future when it comes to money.

  • Let your child start saving as soon as they start secondary school;
  • Teach your child the 10% rule: of every euro that comes in, 10% goes to their savings account;
  • Show your child that saving is not only important for fun things, but also for unexpected ‘hassle on the road’. Knowing that they have something to fall back on gives security and self-confidence;
  • Make saving a habit, not an exception;
  • Only buy something if you have the money. Avoid installment purchases; ● Create short-term savings goals (such as a new pair of pants or bicycle) as well as long-term (such as a study or a house to buy);
  • Before you release your child’s savings account when they turn 18, consider what type of child you have. Not all children are the same. And the thinking brain, the part of our brain with which we make conscious decisions, is only fully developed around the age of 23. Definitely something to keep in mind;
  • Provide a safe environment in which money can be discussed. Even if your child makes mistakes and spends money on things that were not agreed, it is important that they are not afraid to openly discuss this with you.

How to make saving fun?
We now know the importance of having a piggy bank. Saving is of course not always fun, because you prefer to use your money straight away. But if you teach your children to save at a young age, they will also appreciate it more and more. Especially if they understand the value of money and of having it, now and in the future. But how do you make saving fun?

  • Let your child open a savings account themselves, so that they can follow progress and take and feel responsibility. This also contributes to your child’s self-confidence;
  • Make it visual, e.g. with a graph (preferably one that rises) on your child’s mobile phone;
  • Set goals together, then they really have something to work towards and know what they are doing it for;
  • Celebrate interim and final goals when they are achieved;
  • Create different piggy banks. This is now possible in almost all online banking apps.

A good aim is to ensure that your child has the knowledge at the age of 18 to make good choices independently. This is often (around) the age that children start studying and living independently. Feeling a certain financial responsibility certainly comes in handy.

Allowances: do’s and don’ts
Having your own money teaches your child to make independent choices, which leads to a greater sense of responsibility, which increases self-confidence. Some tips and tricks for allowances:

  • An allowance is learning money! Let your child make mistakes. At a young age these will be small mistakes, which can prevent major mistakes later in life.
  • Research shows that boys (€1) receive more pocket money than girls (€0.86). So teach (especially) girls to negotiate and stand firm! Change does not happen by itself; children learn at a young age how it works and what is considered ‘normal’;

No one can determine the amount of allowance for your child. What you give is determined by your own wallet. But set limits and agree on what your child should do with the allowance. And are you curious about how other parents are doing in the Netherlands? Check the Nibud website.

Expert tips: How to ensure a healthy financial education

  • Remember: you are the example for your child. So your behaviour in dealing with money will determine whether they will have a negative or positive relationship with money in the future. So look into the mirror and consider whether you are satisfied financially or whether things could be done differently;
  • Make sure you create peace of mind in income and expenses. Are you just not able to figure it out? Nibud can help you draw up a budget plan;
  • Be transparent and keep talking, even if there are financial setbacks within the household. Keep it to the general outline and indicate that things will get better in the future;
  • Formulate a money motto in your head. What is you motto, that you want to pass on to your child?;
  • Keep developing yourself. It’s never too late to change tack;
  • You have no influence on inflation, but only on how you deal with it;
  • Learn from your child! Let your child pick the holiday – the digital generation is probably much better at this than you are. In this way you let them think independently and participate and you create awareness. And probably there will also be a very nice holiday that you might not have found yourself. Win win!;
  • But the other way around also applies: if you want to conclude a deal for, for example, a subscription: let your child listen in. In this way they learn in a playful way and you involve them in important decisions.

About Eef van Opdorp
Eef van Opdorp (48) has been working as a budget coach and trainer for more than 20 years. She is a financial expert at the TV program Uitstel van Executie and also author of the bestseller Gek van Geld (Crazy about Money) and Pubers & Poen (Teenagers & Money).
More info:

About GoStudent
GoStudent is one of the world’s leading providers of online tutoring. The company was founded in Vienna in 2016 by Felix Ohswald (CEO) and Gregor Müller (COO). The company is currently active in 23 countries. GoStudent offers one-to-one personalized online tutoring to primary and secondary school children in more than 30 subjects, using a membership model.More info: