Remember how you had to teach your kids to eat, drink, write, read…..just about everything? In the same way it’s imperative that you teach them how to save money. Kids, out of their innocence will keep asking for new things from you – their parents. These days kids grow up with so much exposure; it’s natural that they will demand things like iPod, iPad, Play Station, Xbox etc. Plus there is a lot of peer pressure. It’s up to you to show them that not everything is free or easy to pay for. Educating them about finances will help you stretch your family budget a lot more. And mind you, kids learn faster than you think. Making your kids money-wise isn’t as hard as it sounds.
First things first – teach your kids that they need to earn in order to save. Remember that by the time your kid is a teen, money habits have already formed. By the time your child reached around six or seven, that’s a good time to start off the money lessons.
Teach them to earn money in and around the house. You can use simple ideas like mowing the lawn, cleaning the house or the garage, helping in the kitchen one day a week, helping out with the groceries…. the possibilities are limitless. Look around and assign tasks you think are manageable by them and then set a fair pay for it. Make sure your child is happy with the rate. Now whenever you pay your child, sit him/her down and make them understand the value of that money. Chances are, they will get it themselves – after all working for something definitely makes one appreciate it more. When you give them their pay, if it’s $10, don’t give a $10 bill. Give it to them in smaller denominations, say two $5 bills. Now tell them that they can use half of it and save half of it. This way, your kids will be more aware of how to start saving.
If your kid is really young, get a piggy bank and tell him to put the money in it. They’ll love the feel of stowing money away in a fun way. Once your child gets older, encourage them to set an amount aside every month which you can turn into a CD or a savings account for them.
Get them to make handmade gifts. Your family and friends will love them, and your kids will learn the value of a personal touch, saving some money in the process. Introduce them to a few websites which have games which teach kids about money. These games will help you to make them understand a lot more about saving.
Apart from all this, urge them to save money by other means too. Like show them the electricity bill for a month. Encourage them to turn off the gadgets that they don’t use, to turn off the lights and to use electrical gadgets in the most minimalistic way. At the end of this exercise, show them the difference in your bills. They will be happy to have contributed to the household savings.
Prod your kids to play board games, outdoor games and the likes. Chances are you’ll save money on buying fancy gizmos, plus you’ll have healthy kids! Playing board games like Monopoly, Life, etc. will help you to teach them the value of saving money, earning and spending well – while using game money!
Lastly emphasize to your kids how important it is to save in order to have a better future. It’s not about being stingy; it’s more about being wise with money.