Some parents give their children a money box to help them save a portion of their earnings while other parents choose to actually have them open a savings account. Some parents don’t do either and simply give their children what they need without requiring them to save any of their money. Whatever works for your family is what works for your family, but if you do decide to help your children learn the art of saving, here are a few suggestions.
I don’t give my children an allowance because my husband and I provide them with their needs and give them extra money for outings and other things when they need or want it. However, there are some things that we have decided are not necessities and therefore they have to earn money for those things on their own if they want it. Electronics is on that list.
My son recently decided that he wants an Xbox gaming system. After some discussion, his Father and I decided to permit him to have one - under one condition: he has to earn the money to buy the gaming system himself. So, he has been helping neighbors with yard work and saving all of the extra money that he gets from others sources such as Christmas gifts, birthday money, etc. Sometimes he thinks about spending it on other things but overall, he’s done a good job at saving his money.
We know that it can be tough for your little one to maintain enough patience to save when they really want it now. So here are some things that have helped my kids save for specific things that they want:
Use a money box
Using a money box is really helpful especially when helping younger children learn to save. This way, they get to see how much they have saved and have a visual reminder that they are getting closer to their goal. Savings accounts work better for older children who are developmentally able to understand that their money is being saved in a bank but until they reach that level, a money box will do the trick.
Set realistic goals
When your kids are saving for something, help them make realistic goals so that they don’t get discouraged. The first few goals should probably be relatively inexpensive so that they quickly learn that the payoff is worth the short wait. Then you can move up to more expensive goals once they experience the joy of making their first few purchases. This way, they’ll know from experience that eventually they will reach their savings goal and they’ll remember that they have something to look forward to.
Congratulate your kids when they’ve successfully saved up for something that they’ve wanted. This will make them feel good about themselves and will make them want to have even more accomplishments.
Use it as a fun teaching tool
Saving is an important strategy that your kids should begin learning early on so that they are prepared to appropriately manage their money when they are older. However, try to make the process as fun as possible. Remember, you are teaching your children about the importance of money management by showing them how to save for something that they want, but don’t turn it into something so aversive that they get discouraged.
Once your children learn the art of saving, they’ll begin to enjoy it because they know that the payoff is worth it! These tips will help make it a more enjoyable process for them.