With the economy what it is today, there is no better time for parents to teach their kids lifelong lessons about responsibly sharing, saving, and spending. These lessons can go far in shaping kids’ attitudes and habits about money and its use.
Here are some ways to introduce kids to the concept of saving money:
- Discuss and demonstrate with your child how you share, save and spend money: For example: explain how you share money by supporting your place of worship or a charitable cause; how you save money by depositing it in the bank; and how you spend money on groceries and the home.
- Work together on establishing a guideline on how they’ll manage their money: For example: if you set “share 10 percent, save 10 percent and spend 80 percent” as a guideline, the next time your child gets $20 as a birthday gift, the child should divide the money to meet the guideline.
- When older children want to buy something immediately, ask them to ‘Stop, think and choose’: Stop to consider whether they really want or need the item, think how the money spent could be used more resourcefully and choose whether the item is really more important than other wants and needs.
- Make it visual: For example: label three clear jars to serve as share, save and spend piggy banks allowing the child to see their contributions add up. Each child at “Teach Your Kids to Share Day” will receive a 3-slot blue piggy bank to encourage sharing, saving and spending.
- Make it fun: For example: initiate activities such as making ice cream sundaes at home rather than spending money on them at a fast food restaurant. Set up a lemonade stand and agree to donate the proceeds to a local charity.
- Most importantly, make sharing, saving and spending an ongoing conversation: Talking with your child is one of the best ways to build a financial foundation for the whole family.