Many of us look back on our lives and wish that we had learned to save money at an earlier age. What would our lives have looked like if we had learned the value of money and how to save it, as a kid? What would our bank accounts look like?
As moms, we are able to steer our children in the right direction in so far as saving money is concerned. Here are 10 tips for helping your children to learn about saving money, as well as helping them to save it - right now:
10 Examine their attitudes about money
It makes sense that before embarking on a savings initiative, you sit down with your child to find out how they perceive 'saving' money and what their attitudes about money are. You might be surprised at what comes out of their mouths.
Once you have established this, you will be able to fine-tune future savings methods to accommodate what is already in their hearts and to help overcome lies and misconceptions they have believed about money.
9 Teach The Value Of A Dollar
As an extension of the previous point; if, for example, your kids believe money is easy to come by, you need to rectify this from the beginning and explain it is valuable and comes from hard work. As the old saying goes, money does not just grow on trees, and children should be taught that as early as possible.
At the same time, try to explain to them that money is achievable so that they don't grow up with a poverty mindset. It's all about finding the right balance!
8 Be a good role model
As a mom, you are not just a coach but also a role model, in so far as teaching your child how healthy money spending habits look. If you fritter away your money without concern for its value, this is what your child will learn to do.
However, if you exercise discipline and sound judgment in spending money, your child will learn to do the same. If the parent is using money unwisely, they can't say things like "money doesn't grow on trees" to their child and expect it to stick. Step up to the task and be a good money saver yourself!
7 Get a piggy bank
There is nothing quite like a piggy bank to get a little kid excited about saving money. What is great about piggy banks is, unlike bank accounts, they accommodate money of all descriptions, from coins to notes.
Their very presence makes children aware of the importance of saving every cent and through them, children will learn to stay mindful of their money and also that every little bit adds up. When their efforts are rewarded by, for example, being given the opportunity to buy the toy they have longed for, using their piggy bank savings, they will learn something valuable about saving money.
6 Open a bank account
One way to take lessons learned from saving through the piggy bank a step further is to open a bank account for your child. They will love this idea and will rejoice when told they will earn interest on their savings over a period of time. Have them take their coins from the piggy bank and deposit these in an account and let them watch their savings grow!
5 Use the jar system
An alternative to the traditional piggy bank savings model is to give your child a jar for each item they desire to purchase. Allow them to label the jars too. Then when they get money, they can put it into the jar and watch their savings grow.
This will also allow them to develop some kind of 'budget,' specifically focusing on various expenditure costs they will have to save towards. Let them make the jar pretty or colorful with stickers and even a picture of the item they desire to buy with the coins and notes they save up.
4 Keep communication lines open
It's not enough to just have systems in place and to be a good role model. As a parent, you need to sit down with your child and explain to them why people need to save money and the different ways this can be done.
Explain that you are open to discuss money matters and will help them to save and manage their savings. Keeping communication lines open by, for example, not judging their questions or perceptions, will mean they will be more likely to turn to you when they experience problems in all areas of life, including money matters.
3 Let them suffer the consequences
It seems harsh letting children experience some of the consequences of irresponsible or bad behavior; however, in the long run, it will stand in good stead for making wise decisions. For example, if they raid the piggy bank and use the money for candy and then fall short of money for the toy they planned to buy with the savings, allow them to feel some of the burn of their irresponsible spending, and suggest they save for a little while longer to make up for losses.
Cotton wooling children from consequences could teach them that irresponsible behavior has no impact, and they might learn a lesson in a very hard way in adulthood because they failed to learn it in childhood.
2 Help them to set money goals
Creating weekly money goals can also give saving some kind of structure. If they know they need to save a certain amount of money by the middle of November, they can then be empowered to creatively think of other ways they can bring money in - for example, through sales or fundraising initiatives.
Don't underestimate the ability of your child to come up with good ideas around savings timelines, to bring money in and save it.
1 Teach them about extra income opportunities
Admittedly, the piggy bank saving system is a little slow. This doesn't mean your child needs to become despondent. This is where you - Coach Mom - steps in, to teach your child about additional ways to bring money in.
This might be through a yard sale, selling sweets or popcorn, or by finding something in high demand to sell. If there's a will, there's a way, and as long as they remain ethical in how they require money, the sky is the limit.