Teaching Kids to Save Now Helps Them Set Lifetime Patterns
Many parents dread trying to teach their children to save money. They fear the idea will be met with resistance from the kids and cause so much foot stomping and argument that they never set out a consistent plan to teach their children how to begin saving accounts and learn a lifetime habit of saving. As parents, this is an incredible disservice to our children. If you take the time to teach your children to save money now, you will help them develop a lifelong habit that will save them untold amounts of frustration and disappointment in their adult lifetimes.
Start introducing your children to the concepts of money from the time they can count. Using coins for counting, exchanging pennies for nickels, nickels for dimes, etc. is a great way to get them familiar with how saving money leads to having larger amounts of money.
Giving children an allowance can be an excellent way to begin teaching them how to save. Determine the amount of the allowance according to the budget and according to their age. Many financial experts discourage the idea of tying household chores to allowance. Instead, make the allowance a freely given gift, but make a rule about saving a portion of the money. If your child receives $5 in allowance, perhaps the rule could be they need to save $1 of the money, while the rest is theirs to spend as they wish.
Take your children to the bank and help them open up a savings account. Many banks offer special savings programs for children, with interest rates, no minimum balances and even incentive awards for saving. Help them understand how keeping money in an interest-bearing account will actually earn more money for them.
Establish rules about how much of their savings is for short-term goals and how much is for long-term savings. It’s important to let your children withdraw a portion of their savings to purchase a special item they have saved up to buy. This teaches them the practice of saving for larger purchases, rather than buying on credit, which can ultimately save them thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars – or more in interest on revolving credit accounts.
Good spending and saving habits don’t just happen – they are learned. By beginning to teach your kids how to save money from a very young age, you are giving them one of the most valuable gifts of their lives. Preparing children for a lifetime of responsible spending and saving doesn’t need to be overwhelming or difficult. You can help your kids develop a lifetime of financial responsibility simply by teaching them the concepts of saving from the time they are old enough to ask for a dollar!