Money is a sore subject to initiate on any platform, no matter what point we are in life, we always cry we do not have enough of it. I hear my friends commonly joking they have more month at the end of the money, rather than more money at the end of the month. I am no exception, life has taught me the intricate art of living from paycheck to paycheck. The concept of saving is one that I was acquainted with rather late in my life (Who I’m I kidding, I’m still young!). I can not account for what I blew my first paycheck on, and from that painful experience, I decided to start saving the little I could.
Saving for me might be a relatively more struggle as I have to start from scratch in my twenties. Thus, I have resolved to teach my children the importance of saving from very early in life. I will also go a step further and show them how to save. If you are anything like me, or if you would at all like to teach your child how to save money, here are a few techniques that you can employ.
Let them understand the distinction between needs and wants
‘But mom, I want that toy’ is a conversation we’ve all heard in a toy store, assuming I’m not the only one who visits toy stores. It’s not wrong to want a toy, we all want toys, whether a Batman figurine or a Grand Cherokee. However, for an adult, it’s easy to weigh needs over wants, you won’t rush to get a car over basic shelter. You should also have this conversation with your child, and let them understand there are necessities and luxuries. Once they have that understanding –either as a whole or in partiality, they will start to save towards more relevant goals. Since their mind is still in the formative stage, don’t be disappointed when they say they’re saving for a toy, it’s much better than spending the money on sweets.
Let them save the money themselves
There’s a feeling you get when you see your paycheck, no, not the ‘when is Friday?’ feeling. You feel proud to see your efforts have brought fruits, and holding the fruits of your labour in your hands gives a certain sense of responsibility. It’s important to instil the same principle in your child, they need to familiarize themselves with money, and actually, know how it feels to have it and save it. Saving the money on their behalf is similar to the deductions you get on your salary, it goes towards a worthy course, but you still feel robbed. Do not ‘rob’ your children of their hard-earned money.
Help them set saving goals
Who doesn’t want to frolic in the sun on the beach all day long for a few weeks? I know I do. Even with a constrained budget, you can still achieve this by saving up for the event. Kids too need a goal to save towards, and as aforementioned, their priorities will be very different from yours. You need to help them set goals they can save towards. For instance, if they want to buy a new game, instead of buying it for them, sit down with them and discuss what chores they will be doing around the house, and in return, they can get rewarded with money. When they save up the money, they can purchase the new game. It’s important to set realistic and achievable goals. And when you reach the goal, make sure you celebrate with them. As your child continues to grow, challenge them to set higher goals.
Dedicate a saving place
And the step you’ve been thinking of, a piggy bank!
It’s easier to save your money when you don’t see it every time you walk into your room. Money at hand will always have a use, thus dedicate a place where they can save the money. You can get them a piggy bank, or even custom-make one at home with a jar and a hot knife (or maybe that was just for our days?). Encourage them to have a saving habit, and let them know there never is an amount too small to save. AS they grow older, you will also want to think along the lines of opening a savings bank account for them.
As you take your child through this exciting journey, walk with them and try to save together with them. Kids pick a lot from our behaviour more than they do our advice, so you might want to tighten your belt and set your mind on the journey.
Here are ways to teach your child how to budget
Parenting: 6 Mistakes To Avoid When Teaching Children About Money
Finances: Why It Is Important For Kids To Have A Savings Account