At the risk of revealing my age, I remember the days of saving pennies in a huge Milo tin. It took forever for me to fill but when I was able to spend the money it was more satisfying since it was all mine. Although I have come a long way from saving in a Milo tin, I definitely appreciate the value of a dollar.
What about kids today? Do they know the value a dollar?
As parents its our job to ensure that our children realize that while money is not the most important thing in life, they must be appreciative of the hard work that goes toward earning it.
When it comes to learning concepts like saving, visuals and physical interaction are important, especially for young children. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to teach your child how to save:
On either envelopes or jars, have your child draw pictures of what he or she wants. You may also want to help your child understand that some items will take longer than others to save for.
For example, the short-term savings container might have a picture of a specific movie, while the long-term container might have a picture of a phone or tablet. This activity will teach your child that they need to set aside money for short-term and long-term goals.
A “savings match” can be a great way to encourage your child to save extra money. This means that the child saves half the money and the parent matches the other half so that the saving goal can be realized.
Be a Role Model
One of the best things you can do is let your child see that you save money too. Put money in a jar while your child is watching and tell him or her it’s your savings jar. This will show your child that saving is “normal.” Plus, since most young children want to be like their parents, seeing you do it will provide them with money lessons that further inspire them to save.
When your child is old enough to understand the concept of interest, you can look for savings accounts that earn interest. Help your child open a high yield account and explain the importance of compound interest. Many companies have junior savings plans geared towards younger savers.
It is important that children be involved with the finances as they will appreciate that there is a family budget so not everything that they want will be included. This is a valuable lesson that children will take into adulthood.
So how do you teach children how to save money?
Let me hear from you!
Teri Ann Renee Paisley
Gleaner online writer