Nothing eases a parent’s mind more than knowing that their child is aware of the value of money, as well as the importance of saving it. Knowing how to save – and spend – wisely is hands-down one of the most useful traits a child can be raised with. In some households, where financial conscientiousness is habitual, this may be a natural product of childhood. However, it is a great idea to take a more hands-on approach to teaching your kids about smart spending and saving. Here are five ways to teach children to save that show them both the value of everyday saving and of saving to reach goals.
How To Teach Children To Save
1. Goal Savings Charts
Sticker charts can be used in a variety of ways when it comes to saving. You can use one to encourage your child to set weekly savings goals. For example, your child can earn a sticker for each week they save $2 and get a whole page of stickers when they save up a total of $10.
Or you can encourage your child save up to reach big rewards of desired items. This doesn’t just encourage saving – if your kids are buying toys with their own money, you can bet they’ll treat those things a lot more carefully than if said things are just handed to them. Plus, you don’t even have to shell out for the rewards, because the end goal is the reward itself! For example if they want to save up for a $50 video game, you can help them determine how much money they can save each week and how long it will take to reach their goal. Giving them a visual of this savings process is a great way to encourage them and make it fun. With that in mind, here is a PDF of a free printable savings goal chart your kids can use!
2. Compartmentalized Piggy Banks Or Envelopes
Nothing’s more exciting than using something you’ve made yourself, so a great way to start kids off on the road to money-saving is to let them make their own piggy banks. There are a fair few methods of crafting and decorating piggy banks online, but the easiest method is still to clean out a jar, cut a hole in the lid, and – boom, piggy bank!
The piggy bank is another great way for younger kids to actually see their savings and watch them grow.
You can take things a step further by creating several piggy banks (or by compartmentalizing a single one), each to be used for something different – one for saving, one for spending, or if you’d prefer, one for investing and one for donating. It’s up to you!
Older children may benefit from learning about the envelop saving system. Carrie Lee offers some great printable envelopes for this.
Teaching Kids About Everyday Saving Opportunities
These next 3 teach children to save activities, all fall into the category of learning to save in everyday situations. This type of savings really adds up and helps stretch a budget further. If you child is old enough, this is a good time to introduce budgeting for kids.
3. Learn To Save By Finding Sales
If you don’t mind a little field trip, take your kids out with you the next time you go shopping. Show them the difference between full retail prices and the kind of deals you get in second-hand stores or during sales periods. This is a great way to show your kids how to assess items for quality versus price.
As they get older you can also teach them to avoid false economies and show that sometimes spending more to begin with can lead to savings in the long run.
4. Learn To Save At The Supermarket
Food is a crucial part of any household budget, and knowing how to spend wisely on food is a great skill that will serve your kids well when they eventually live on their own. If you can spare the time, take your kids to the grocery store with you and show them how to differentiate between price, quantity, and quality for the best possible deals. This can also be a great way for them to put their maths skills in action!
You can even use the opportunity to cultivate healthier eating habits by taking them to farmer’s markets and picking out fruit and vegetables for them to try.
5. Learn To Save With Online Comparison Shopping
While your children are young it’s encouraged to let them see and handle cash as much as possible so they don’t think of ‘money’ as an abstract concept, but as they grow older it’s a good idea to get them acquainted debit cards and the idea of online spending
Things like clothes shopping may not work out cheaper online, but books and DVDs can often be much cheaper if you purchase them over the Internet, with options for buying them new or used. Why not challenge your kids to shop around and find the best price for various items?
Furthermore, there are lots of crowdsourcing sites that offer exclusive deals on events and trips that you could teach your children to use (albeit when they’re older). Whether it’s a subscription to a popular family magazine or great offers for family days out. By taking advantage of sites like these, you’ll be cultivating saving habits for the Internet era – especially useful in this day and age where it’s tempting to make online purchases for the sheer ease of it.
I hope you find these activities to teach children to save helpful. What ways do you use to encourage your kids to save? Share them in the comments!
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Meryl van der Merwe says
When our kids turn 13 they are given a monthly allowance. It starts at $45 and they have to buy all their clothing, gifts, entertainment from that (we cover basic toiletries and sports gear). This is a HUGE incentive for them to use the ideas you have laid out above. They watch for sales and have found amazing bargains. Used clothing stores are very popular with my daughters. Signing up for newsletters from favorite stores helps them find out when those stores have sales or offer free shipping.
That is great. Thanks for sharing Meryl!
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Thank you Emma! Your kind words are much appreciated.