When it comes to kids and money, one of the most important financial gifts you can give your kids is teaching them how to save. Here's some simple ways you can make saving both effective and fun!
The subject of kids and money seems like two very separate things. I get it. Saving is tough. It takes discipline. And teaching kids about money? Haha. Yah, right! Not so fast. Kids and money don't have to be at odds. It is possible to teach your kids about money; in fact, in a previous Savvy Saturday video, I discussed “3 Things To Teach Your Kids About Money.” Let me share with you five specific areas where teaching kids to save is not only possible but enjoyable.
Just like you, your kids have certain motivations that resonate with them. They might not care so much about money; however, they may like to earn a sleepover with their friends. Through the principle of saving, teaching kids the power of money is best accomplished when you've identified what motivates them most.
So, dig deep and have a conversation about what would excite them the most. If it is not a financial motivation, help them see that money and planning are what make their favorite experiences possible.
Help them define both a short term goal and a long term one. My daughter’s first saving goal was to play a $5 swing-the-hammer, ring-the-bell type game at Six Flags and, after a few ever-increasing goals, she moved on to a new goal that required a few months of saving. These small but long term saving goals provide crucial learning opportunities. If they don’t learn to save now for the smaller goals, their future goals will become harder to attain or further out of reach as they get older. The principle here is teaching kids delayed gratification, which science shows is the number one character trait of those who win in life. Let’s set our kids up for success!
One of life's greatest teachable moments is when your child graduates from the piggy bank to the savings account.
As they approach driving age, an awesome goal is watching their dollars grow when they start saving up for things like their first car. Their first savings account is also an opportunity to teach them about interest and how storing away their money can actually grow into more money.
Through the simple example of a growing savings account, you end up teaching kids the power of matching. Matching instills the importance of investing–the ultimate long-term savings goal! You can do this a couple of different ways, whether it's setting a goal and matching it or matching it dollar for dollar along the way! Have fun with it and try different methods until you find what motivates your child best.
Gamification is a proven method for teaching something that lasts. For example, the Game of Life teaches them to anticipate life’s expenses and how there are multiple expenses associated with being an adult.
At the same time, even counting change can be a simple exercise if you think through it, make it fun and do it right! I hope these five simple strategies have encouraged you to begin the process of teaching your kid how to save, which will help you and your child stay focused, informed and growing in your financial journeys. Dream big! The possibilities to teach your child to save money are endless and will help you both find more money to fund your dreams!
Question: When it comes to teaching kids how to save, have you implemented any of these five strategies in your own home? Do you have any additional ways you find help teach the next generation how to save? Share your unique insights in the comments below.
I hope you found this information helpful. Feel free to join my FREE Facebook community, The “Strong Together Money Community.” Post a picture of your teachable moments and glean from other's tips on how to creatively teach the next generation to save money.