How much better would Americans be with money if we were intentional about teaching good money and savings habits at a young age? We’ll focus on ways to positively model and influence children and teens regarding money, spending habits, and saving.
It’s never too early to start teaching your children about saving, budgeting, and money matters. It is easy to overlook these valuable lessons since it’s not a core subject taught in school until they are in high school. But you don’t need to wait, here are some money-savvy ideas that you can start teaching your children while they are still toddlers.
Save A Little
A piggy bank or a money box is a classic way to help a small child save money. Let them choose their style of a bank in the shape of a car, cartoon character, or maybe an actual pig. Show them how to drop in the coins and collect a stash of money they will use in the future. Explain it’s not to be opened or dipped into unless there’s some emergency – which doesn’t include buying candy or ice cream.
You can also help create a DIY saving center. Grab three jars or boxes of the same size. Cut a slot into the lid and let your kids decorate them with paint, markers, ribbon, stickers, or any random craft supplies. Designate one jar for saving, one jar for sharing, and one jar for spending.
Every time the piggy bank is full, they can go to the local branch, cutely tip the pile of coins on the teller’s desk and see their account balance grow in front of their eyes.
Give Them Ways To Earn
Next, they will be wondering how to fill up the piggy bank faster. It’s your chance to introduce chores and get a happy little helper on board with the housework. Make a roster to check off the daily or weekly chores, and be ready to hand over your coins when they get the jobs done.
As they get older, you can show them other ways to make some money to save. Having a garage sale is always fun, and all the family can get involved. They could also offer to help out neighbors for a little extra pocket money.
Let Them Spend a Little
While saving is important, we also want to teach smart spending habits. So, let your children take some of their well-earned money to go shopping and buy what they want, as appropriate. Explain to them, in a fundamental way, the economics of money flow within a community. They will soon see the cycle of earning, spending, and saving as they gain experience and confidence by doing it themselves.
Show Them How To Be Giving
There are many ways to show your children how to give through donations, charity, and buying tickets for things that go to a good cause. Building awareness of kindness through giving is a beautiful lesson to teach your little ones.
In the end, children will make their own methods to earn, spend and save money. Hopefully, they will remember your wise lessons, and financial success will flow easily to them. Giving them a firm foundation of knowledge from a young age is one of the best life lessons you can pass onto your children.
And now might be the perfect time to give them their own kids’ savings account. Most financial institutions only have “adult” accounts. The Credit Union offers special age-appropriate accounts to help kids learn basic money skills while having fun.
Our Kids Club Savings Account is an ideal way to save and learn. It comes with our exclusive M3 Money Club, which includes a special website and newsletter with fun, interactive activities, and competitions—including awesome prizes. To learn more click here.
This article was developed in partnership with Balance Pro.