Whether we’re in a recession or the economy is thriving, teaching our kids to understand money and saving is an important responsibility we have as parents. Here are a few ideas to help your kids understand money matters and saving:
1. Start early. As soon as your child starts counting, familiarize them with money. Since kids tend to learn by repetition, ensure they see you handle money repeatedly, whether counting it, putting coins into a jar or piggy-bank, or even by introducing games that involve money.
2. Set goals. Having a clear idea of what they’re saving for will help your child actually want to put their money into a piggy-bank or savings account.
3. Communicate. Be upfront with your kids, teaching them the difference between needs and wants. Also, explain to them the importance of saving money, investing and spending their money wisely.
4. Give an allowance. Once your children are old enough, start giving them an allowance for chores and other things they do around the house. Also teach them to save a part of their allowance for their piggy-bank or savings account and allow them to spend what’s left on their goal (a book, toy, etc.).
5. Open a savings account. Take them to the credit union and help them open their own savings account. Keeping a record of the money they save will motivate them to keep saving and hopefully will give them a solid foundation for later on in life.