Teach Children About Saving Money Early

April 26, 2010

It is never too early to teach your children about the importance of money. Your instruction can help them begin a life of fiscal responsibility that they can teach to their children. Here is some advice about how to teach your children about saving money.

Money is not the most important thing in the world, but it is useful throughout your life. Money pays the bills and also allows you to buy things that you want and have worked hard for. Managing money teaches responsibility, patience, planning and discipline. These are all character traits that benefit you in other areas of your life as well.

  • Kids need to learn about money. It is not too early or too late to help them appreciate a hard-earned dollar. When they are pre-schoolers they can begin to see what money can do for them.
  • Little kids always want things when they go to the store. On each aisle you’ll hear “I want, I want.” One way to avoid that is to use it as a teaching moment. When kids get money for birthdays, let them know that it is theirs. They can use it to buy a toy or something they like at the store.
  • Show them store circulars ahead of time helps them decide what they want before you hit the store. It also helps them associate money with getting a desired item. This is beneficial in another way. Instead of your child wanting everything in the store, they are only seeking that one item and will be content when they get it (hopefully).
  • As kids get older and have started school, you can introduce the subject of money again. This time show them each piece of money and talk about how much it is worth. Have them earn money by doing chores around the house. Each child can have their own piggy bank where they can keep their money. Use coins and paper money.
  • Empty their piggy bank of some of its booty when you go to the store on a special occasion. They can examine items in the store within their “price range” and decide if they want to buy something or save their money.
  • Adolescents are ready to learn all about saving in detail. They are old enough to get a weekly allowance. Weekly usually works better than monthly because they get to see their money multiply faster, reinforcing what you are trying to teach them. If they want to purchase something but don’t have enough money, you can help them develop a plan to save up for that item.
  • Teenagers are old enough to get jobs and put what you have taught them about saving and spending to work. Open a bank account with them. Now is the time to talk about using ATM cards and balancing accounts.
  • It is not too early to begin money lessons. You are the best example to your children. By working together, you can both learn a thing or two about managing money.

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