As a parent, you have a major influence on your children’s habits. Habits are difficult to break, which is why it’s important to make sure your child is on the right track when they’re young. An important life skill that you can start teaching them early is how to save. Teaching your children good money habits can set them up for financial success in their future. If you don’t know where to start or how to teach your kids to save, here are a few tips to help.
It’s never too early to start teaching your children about the value of money. Kids are quick learners. You can start teaching the basics of savings and spending habits as early as three years old. When you start early and create fun experiences and opportunities to learn about saving, they will likely develop good money habits.
Lead by example.
Your kids learn from watching you. The best way to teach them about saving is leading by example. Communication is key. Have a conversation with your kids about the importance of saving money. Use every day teachable moments to explain and show them what you’re doing when you pay bills, buy groceries, write a check, and use the ATM. By helping them understand the importance of money, they will start taking responsibility for it early on in their lives.
Help them set goals.
If your child has been asking for a new PlayStation or iPad, use this as an opportunity to discuss setting goals. Help them to set a goal and break it down into smaller steps so they can see that their goal is achievable. Explain to them the more they work towards achieving their goal, the quicker they will accomplish it. When they reach their goal, celebrate their achievement with them.
Create a jar system.
Use piggy banks or jars to make saving fun. Start out by using one jar or you can use the three jar system. With the three jar system, each jar is labeled either savings, spending, or sharing. The savings jar is assigned for more expensive items that your child wants - like that new PlayStation or iPad. The spending jar is designated for buying smaller purchases such as candy or toys. The sharing jar is used to save money to give to a local charity that your child cares about or to give to someone in need. Using clear jars will give kids a visual of their money and will make them excited as the amount in the jars grows.
Make it fun.
Kids learn better in a playful, relaxed environment. Managing finances may not seem like a fun task as an adult, but you can find ways to make learning fun for your kids. Play games with them such as Money Bags, The Allowance Game, or Monopoly to help them understand how to spend, save, and responsibly borrow money.
Open their own account.
Once your child has saved a certain amount in their piggy bank or jar, make plans with them to visit a financial institution to open a saving account. They’ll be excited to be included on the trip to open an account and it’s a great opportunity to explain how their money grows in a savings accounts. We have two accounts that may be great for your little ones. Consider our Kids Klub account or Teen Checking account.
Create opportunities to earn money.
Instead of giving your child an allowance, give them a commission based on chores assigned to them. Assign various household chores such as mowing the lawn, washing the dishes, cleaning their room, doing the laundry, and any other jobs that need to be done around your home. When they’re old enough, you can encourage them to work a summer job or start a small business to earn money. This is a great way to teach your children the value of hard work.
Kids watch your every move, and they follow your lead. If you want them to be financially responsible and successful, it’s important to set an example and teach them how to save and manage their finances at an early age. They will thank you for teaching them this valuable skill later in life.