Category: Youth and Money

Savings adventures for kids

By
Brenda Porter-Rockwell
March 24, 2015
An illustrated lion walking through the  jungle

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 and bill denominations. Elementary school kids may not yet understand the true value of saving, but you’re helping them build a foundation for accumulating wealth.

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 he or she may want later. Create an agreement such as this one between you and your child to hold them accountable for the money you give for allowances, borrowing, or sharing of costs for their wants.

Continue the money lessons into the middle 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 child can open their 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, their Fat Cat dividends are compounded daily and paid monthly after the $25 balance is reached. They also can make withdrawals when their balance reaches $25. You and your child 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 with them more discoveries of how young people manage their finances. That’s where a Zard Account can help. The account meets the needs of this group by offering savings and checking accounts and a debit card.

Hopefully by now they’re 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 earns dividends — the extra money being 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 youngster 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, they’re likely searching for big-ticket items. Show them how to scout price differences between current and next-generation devices, and used 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.

Kids’ adventures in saving are life-changing — if they learn to live within their means, they increase their chances for a debt-free life. And they add a layer of financial security for a better future. Looking for more ways to teach your child to save? Contact LGFCU for help.

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