Guest post from Madison:
If I had to come up with a title for kids in general, using one simplistic term, I’d call them munchkins with a short attention span.
Let’s face it, sometimes it’s hard to teach lessons and even harder to get those lessons to stick. However, when it comes to the importance of saving money, there are no excuses to take on the teacher role.
Teaching kids to save will set a precedence for their entire financial future, so I’ve compiled a few things to remember when you start.
1. Object Lessons
Kids are visual learners, and concepts like saving money will come a lot easier if you demonstrate.
Give your kids an object lesson on patience. Whether it’s candy, ice cream, or a different treat, tell them that if they don’t eat it within a given time-frame, then they’ll get another one afterwards. It’s a simple yet effective way to teach them how to save.
The next step is to move on to money so they can understand and put the concept into practice.
2. Set the Example
Kids pick up on a lot more than you think. They are constantly learning by example, so why not set a good one?
Show them how you save money for big purchases and openly communicate with them what it takes to do so. If you’re constantly buying brand new, unnecessary things, they will think that’s the norm and grow to do it themselves.
3. Be Consistent
A lesson on saving money is only effective if you keep teaching days, weeks, and months afterwards. Don’t let it be a one time event. Consistently ask your kids if they’re saving their money and go over ideas on what they can save for.
4. Make It Fun
As a child, I thought saving money was hard and in all honesty, boring. I was constantly thinking about everything I couldn’t buy at that specific moment because my money was locked away in a piggy bank. (I’ve always been an impatient person!)
Make the process of saving fun by putting up a sticker chart in the office where the kids can have a little healthy competition with one another. You can even give them small prizes for each benchmark they hit.
5. Teach Them Rewards
The reward is sweet, but your kids will never realize it if they don’t make it to the end.
I once started saving up for a bike, but kept spending my quarters on candy and jewelry and lost sight of my goal. Instead of paying for a bike with my own saved money, my parents got me one for Christmas a year or two later.
Not to discredit Christmas or birthdays, but I would have learned a lot more about saving had my parents made me buy it myself.
Teaching your kids to save isn’t too hard when you put these ideas into practice. Before you know it, they’ll become money-saving moguls and who knows? Maybe they’ll save enough money to give you a nice retirement when you’re old. If that’s the case, let the teaching begin!
What are your best tips to teach kids to save?
Madison is a Community Relations Specialist at an accounting software company. She enjoys running, sewing, marketing, and fashion illustration.