Saving money is a super-important life skill that children should learn from a young age. This educational skill isn’t offered as a course in schools anymore, so it’s up to you, the parent, to teach your kiddos about spending and savings. And here are a few examples how–
Buy Kids a Piggy Bank or Savings Jar First
Piggy banks should be a given from the moment you find out you’re having a kiddo. Not only will it help your youngster save up some money later in life, but you can add to their childhood funds as they grow. Have some extra change lying around? Throw it in the piggy bank. Those pennies and dimes add up over time. Or, if you hate the idea of a classic piggy bank, an old Mason jar with a lid will do. Write SAVINGS across the front in black marker, then let your kiddo add throw dollars and cents as they get money.
Then Progress to a Bank Account
When you feel your child is responsible enough for a bank account, present the idea of emptying their piggy bank into an actual account at an actual bank. There are loads of savings programs for kids—each one designed to accumulate interest and teach kiddos about the importance of saving money for a rainy day. Some of those bank accounts even come with debit cards, which further teach children about managing their spending and saving up what they can. Plus, you can check a bank account from home with a bank website’s “click here” button.
Allow Them to Earn Their Own Money with Household Chores
In most states, kids can’t get a job until they’re 16. Or, 15 with written consent and a work permit. However, there are other ways to earn money, like household chores. Make a chart of things you want done around the house, like vacuuming the bedrooms, or washing all the dishes. Then add a monetary amount for each job—say $3 for cleaning the toilets, or $5 for folding a day’s worth of laundry. Not only will they earn money, but they get those feelings of accomplishment from working hard and being rewarded for it.
When you start your kids out on the savings and spending paths, you are teaching them an important skill that will lead them through the entirety of their lives. However, it’s better to actually see growth than merely hear about it. So, make a spreadsheet—kind of like a checkbook, where kids can document their earnings, see their savings growth, and feel good about their earnings.