While saving money is an important life skills topic, it is seldom taught in school. It is up to the parents to teach their kids about not just the importance of saving money and building a nest egg, but also how to go about it. As adults, most of us know how to save and what the benefits of saving money are. It is important we pass this knowledge along to our children. To lay the groundwork for lessons to come, as soon as we received my daughter’s Social Security number in the mail we went to our credit union and opened her account! Now, because she is just a toddler she doesn’t understand the concept of money yet, but she has a savings account, and each paycheck I put some money aside for her.
I want to help other parents find ways to teach their kids about saving so I wrote up a brief list of some of the ways you can easily introduce your child to the concept of saving money.
Open an account: Opening a savings account is an easy thing to do! This can be a great way to teach kids the ins and outs of deposits and interest rates. If your kids are older, bring them with you to the bank and let them make their deposits. Chances are they will get so excited to be doing adult things! For more information on River Valley kids accounts, visit our personal savings page or call any of our Member Service Reps at 937-859-6260 ext. 2212.
Get a piggy bank: Have your little one pick a super fun piggy bank. It could be their favorite color or have a fun design or even be in the shape of their favorite character. The idea is to encourage them to be excited about putting money in the piggy bank. Explain to them the idea of saving money and how it can be used at a later date for different things. Once the piggy bank is full, take them to deposit it into their savings account, explaining that it will help the money grow, and maybe keeping out a little bit for a special treat, too! Stop by any of our branches to get a free River Valley piggy bank to help you get started.
Try an app: In today’s technologically driven world, there seems to be an app for everything, and helping your kids to save is no different. There are many different kid-friendly apps available that are geared toward saving money. They allow the kids to track their money and chores and earn more money by doing chores. Take a look through your phone’s app store to find the one that is right for your family.
Go online: The Internet is a wonderful place to get information and different ideas. While doing research for this blog post I found iPiggiBank, an online financial literacy program to help motivate kids to learn how to save. Geared for ages 6 through 12, the site’s goal is to help teachers and parents encourage kids to save, learn responsibility, and earn and manage money, all while having fun. You can find different worksheets and programs on the iPiggiBank website. Another good online resource is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The site is full of great financial information for any topic you may want to learn more about.
Lead by example: Our kids are like sponges; they soak up everything we do. They look up to their parents, so it is only natural they want to do everything mom and dad do. I find my toddler pretending to clean up or cook dinner because she wants to be just like me. If your child has a piggy bank, get yourself a piggy bank to demonstrate how you are saving, too. It is important to be open with your child about money. Have financial discussions with the whole family present, allow them to ask questions and engage with you. Doing so will only help them be more prepared for adulthood.
Of all the life skills you can teach your children, financial literacy is an important one that will help them more successfully navigate their own financial path for years to come.