Teaching kids to save can be an enjoyable and educating experience, for both the child and the parent. It is an invaluable habit that can help create a solid financial future for your children. Here are some ways to get your child in the habit of saving money.
Set Aside Money
Whenever your child receives any kind of money have them to set aside a certain amount for saving. This can be an arbitrary amount or a certain percentage. The main thing is to just get your child in the habit of knowing that whenever he or she receives money that they cannot spend it all.
When your child is younger in the pre-school to just beyond years tell the child that they have a certain amount that they can spend and the rest needs to go in their piggy bank. You can have them save that money for a week or two since in their younger age they really do not understand saving for the sake of saving.
However, they do understand saving to buy the toy that they saw in the store the other day. This way you teach them the idea of saving while at the same time giving them a reason to want to do so.
Habit of Saving
When your child gets a little older starting in the elementary years you can begin a more definite plan for saving money. You can have them save a certain percentage say 10-30%. Then they have a certain percentage to spend and a certain amount that they can give away. This gives them a solid foundation in managing money. Now however, they are not saving just to spend. They are saving to build up more money.
Many children, if saving is instilled in them, as they begin to get older do not like their money to dwindle down. So instead of spending it they will wait till they have more or actually try to figure out ways to make more money. This is the goal, to get saving so instilled in them that spending becomes harder to do than saving.
AS your child outgrows the piggy bank you can look into more options. Starting with a savings account at a local bank is a good option. It gives your child firsthand experience and a concrete understanding of dealing with banks and saving their money. You can add online accounts later for higher returns but during the earlier years it may be better to deal with a local bank.
This is just because dealing with a local bank just feels more real and concrete than an online account. Younger children need to feel the realness of going into a bank and depositing and withdrawing money.
You also may want to start giving your child a weekly allowance. Make sure that they are adhering to the spend, save, and give percentages that you have established. Start with smaller amounts when your child is young, say $ 5 a week or whatever you deem reasonable for your child. Then increase during the older years as their expenses increase with school supplies, spending money, etc.
After some years of consistent implementation of saving spending and giving you will have create a lifetime lesson that hopefully follows them through their adult years. Just try to be consistent and especially be firm with the saving percentages so that your children will not get into the habit of spending everything that comes into their hands.