As parents some of us find it difficult to start saving. Many of us have 401K/403B plans through our jobs so we believe that’s saving or some think how can I possibly save any money, there’s never any left over?!?!?!?!? As parents we need a rainy day fund, especially if you have a children, a car, a house or WHATEVER!!! There will always be a time when the unexpected happens.
I started saving early in life, so I was able to buy my first home at 28 years old. I knew I wanted to own a piece of real estate because it had always been a goal. I saved my tax returns every year for three years and I was able to amass enough money for my down payment. I know that’s not for everyone, but I set a goal and went for “the dream.” I am now older, have children, run a small business and I am crazy busy (like all of us). I am not as diligent in saving so when these tools were presented to me, I jumped on them. I have been using these tools over the last few months, they have worked for me and it has removed the “savings worry” from my thoughts.
Teaching kids the importance of money choices and the act of saving money are essential parts of learning and growing. The most important thing to do at the beginning is to make saving fun. Plus, the earlier you start teaching your kids to save money, the better off they’ll be. Even toddlers can do it, but you have to teach this concept in a way they’ll understand. Then, as your children grow, you can introduce more sophisticated saving strategies. Here are some ways you can teach your children about saving money early on!
Set a Good Example
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. Let your child choose his or her own piggy bank. It doesn’t have to be a pig, naturally. You can find character banks from cartoon shows and movies, or you could just get an old jar and let your child decorate it. Make it a fun and special project to choose or make the jar and your child is going to have more of an attachment to it.
There are a number of games available to teach financial concepts to children. Monopoly and The Game of Life, for example, can teach money management skills as well as the importance of planning ahead. Rich Dad Cashflow for Kids is another good option focused on money management. While you are playing, point out how saving money in the game relates to saving money in real life.
Before you recycle all those annoying circulars that arrive on your doorstep Sunday mornings, why not have a coupon-clipping fiesta with your child? Even if you’re not a coupon clipper yourself, it’s worth making the effort to teach your child about savings and discounts. He can help identify coupons that might be a good match for this week’s grocery needs (even nonreaders can do this, because most coupons include pictures), help cut them out, and put them in a large envelope.
Next time you go to the grocery store, let your child be in charge of the coupons. Depending on his age, he can be the “coupon envelope holder,” the “product finder,” the “tracker of money saved,” or all three. Afterward, talk about how much money the two of you saved and how you might use that money.
Showing kids purchases with a credit card won’t do much good, experts say. They recommend not buying items on credit cards or with checks, because that’s completely abstract. Instead, let your kids hold the money and see the money leaving their hands.
A fun way to accomplish this with young children is to deposit coins in a parking meter. Let kids put the coins in. That way, they get to see what money is and that you get something for it. And when kids are 3 or 4, they love putting the coins in the meter.
What are some ways you teach your kids how to save money? – Cute Beltz