Kids’ adventures in saving should start early and happen often. Encourage kids to explore the wild world of saving and see just how far their imagination takes them.
Increase their money know how
Early money lessons often stick with your child as they grow into adults. For young children learning to count, start with coins and small bills. Encourage them to put their money in a piggy bank, wallet or any available container. These money moments make them familiar with the difference between pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and bill denominations. Elementary school-aged kids may not yet understand the true value of saving, but you’re helping them build a foundation for accumulating wealth.
Another teachable moment is to listen to what your child has to say about spending and saving money. For instance, our “Kids Talk” video is a candid and humorous look at how youth relate to money. Use the video as a starting point to share your family values and insights about finances with your children.
Smart saving lessons for any age
The grade school years are a good time to talk about needs versus wants. Highlight the difference between buying what is needed now and saving for what your child may want later. An agreement between you and your child like LGFCU’s Child and Parent Financial Contract helps hold them ccountable for the money you give for allowances, or for borrowing or sharing of costs for their wants.
Continue the money lessons into the middle school years with a field trip to the Credit Union. Visit a branch to learn how Credit Unions and savings accounts work. While you’re there, your children can open a Fat Cat Account or make their first deposit on their own. This is a great way to make your youngster feel like a big kid. Just like your Share Account, Fat Cat dividends are compounded daily and paid monthly after the $25 balance is reached. Your children can also make withdrawals when their balance reaches $25.
You and your children can track how dividends make their funds grow over a given period.
With age comes more money responsibilities. The teen and young adult years bring more discoveries of how to manage finances. That’s when a Zard Account can help. The account meets the needs of this age group by offering savings and checking accounts and a debit card.
Hopefully by this age your children are truly wild about saving, and regularly deposit money from birthdays, holidays or part-time jobs into their accounts. Like Fat Cat, Zard deposit accounts also earn dividends. The extra money is a good motivator for them to stay focused on reaching goals like buying a car or a new mobile phone. Contracts with your young adult also work especially well with pricier items where you need clearly defined agreements about shared costs.
Teach kids to spend wisely
Turn a trip to the grocery store into a teachable moment. All you need is a calculator app on your mobile device and a fixed amount for your budget. Use coupons and let your youngsters help you hunt for sale items. Give them the calculator to track your purchases and total up how much you saved. They become smart shoppers by finding the best prices for the same or similar items and learn a valuable lesson about spending within available means.
If your shopping trip puts your teen in the driver’s seat, your son or daughter is likely searching for big-ticket items. Show them how to research price differences between current and next-generation devices, and pre-owned electronics. No matter what they’re looking for, if they can save on their purchase, they can use the savings to spend elsewhere or better yet, keep for another day.
Learning to save now could be a life-changing event for your child. If they learn to live within their means, they may increase their chances for a more financially secure future.
The advice provided is for informational purposes only.