Saving money can sometimes feel like a bit of a heavy subject to bring up with your children, but by following these tips and putting money away can be an exciting experience for the whole family. The team at Strawberry Children, think there are plenty of practical ways to make saving less of a chore and more of a rewarding mind-set that can help children transition into adulthood with confidence and security.
Don’t Be Scared to Talk About Budgeting
Introducing the concept of budgeting early on makes it more normal and less of a daunting concept. Bringing in everyday examples is a great start. Sharing how you manage expenses can be a fun experience for your kids that gives them responsibility and teaches them about price comparison and prioritising. An easy way to bring this into your routine is by planning the weekly shop together.
Focus on Goals
Having set targets to aim for can make the whole process feel more achievable to you to your kids. Once your child has identified what they most want to save for, you can discuss with them how to budget towards these goals and realistic time frames to aim for. While it’s great to aim for long-term goals, it’s likely that your child that will want to spend as well as save. Saving for the possibility of university may seem a long way off to a seven-year-old, but you can encourage an awareness of both short- and long-term goals. A good method of separating goals can be to split money into different envelopes or jars. You can additionally label the goals by writing them down and sticking pictures up to add motivation and anticipation.
Piggy banks are an effective way of children seeing the results of their savings and how they can aim towards their goals. All those extra pennies lying about can build up to an exciting total and inspire further saving.
Once the piggy bank hits a certain level, you may want to move it into a bank account. You might already have a bank account open for your child, but it can be a valuable way of helping them to prepare for the adult world of banking. Speaking to an advisor and being involved with how their account works will ease kids into systems which they will have to deal with as adults and can make it seem less scary. For a good mix between saving and spending, your child could always put half of their piggy bank into the account every month and put the rest for shorter-term goals.
Give Them Control
Letting your kids make their own purchases promotes independence and an awareness of how quickly money can be spent. Using their money for a meal out or a trip to the cinema can give them satisfaction while building an awareness of how much things cost. You could also let them plan out the budget for their clothes or leisure activities to see what they can afford. By doing chores like washing the car and gardening, children can gain valuable skills which will last a lifetime.
Showing your children how proud you are of their saving can reinforce a positive attitude towards being thrifty. You can do this by matching what they spend or providing treats like extra play time or a fun family day out. With such good saving habits, they may even have enough to treat you!
Any other ideas? Leave them in the comments.