Setting your child up for financial success can be one of the most stressful but important tasks you can do for them. They need to be taught at a young age about what money is, how it’s used in everyday life, and most importantly, how to save it.
Why do you want to teach kids about saving money? We live in a world where everything is consumed quickly, whether this is a hamburger or the latest phone. Today’s world is an “I-want-I-need” and “right now” world, where, if you get lost, you may stay lost.
This is why it’s so important to teach children at a young age about saving their money. This task doesn’t have to be boring and we learn most when we are having fun. These 5 ways to make saving money fun for kids will make this financial habit easy to develop. Read through the list to find your favorite (#4 is sure to be a hit).
5 Ways to Make Saving Money Fun for Kids
1. Piggie Bank
Set a few dollars aside and take your children on a special outing. Before this trip happens, sit down with your little ones and talk about what a savings is and why it’s important. Then, when the day arrives, have them select their favorite piggy bank. The majority of stores will carry piggy banks in the jewelry section, and there is nearly always a variety.
Let them pick something they will love because if they aren’t excited about their new piggy bank they aren’t likely to use it. After you get home, encourage your children to place their money in their new personal piggy bank and follow up with them as the days and weeks progress.
2. Measuring Growth
If your children are visual learners, create a chart with squares, circles, triangles and write small dollar amounts in each of the shapes. These can include, 1 cent, 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents. As your child puts money into their new piggy bank, allow them to color in how much money they added to their savings.
This is an excellent way to keep track of the total amount and will encourage the child to be excited about wanting to save so they can color in the shapes.
Using rewards is a great way to teach your kids about savings, especially if your child is a little older. Encourage them to save up for something they want to purchase.
My grandmother often tells me of an experience she had as a young mother. One of her sons wanted a bicycle for Christmas and with 9 kids in the home, there was no way she could afford to do this. After several of her other children expressed their desire for a bicycle too she challenged each of them to save their money.
She goes on to say that only one son wanted the bike badly enough that he got a paper route and earned the money. He treated his new prized possession as if it were made of gold. Grandmother had never seen her son take care of something with such compassion and concern as this bicycle he bought.
Your children can do the same too. Don’t step in and help by purchasing the item but encourage them to save their money. If they want the newest and latest gadget bad enough, they will do all in their power to save and earn money. Then, when they’re able to buy the item, they will have a great sense of accomplishment and pride. This is something no amount of money can buy.
Do you have a child who loves traveling and going on adventures? Make savings fun for them by doing an “adventure trek.” First, they need to keep track of the money they have in their piggy bank for this to work. An “adventure trek” is a problem-solving question that will encourage your child to solve how far they would be able to travel with the money they currently have saved.
Now, to start with zero or very little, their savings might buy them a bus ticket down the block. I know this is not terribly exciting. But, as they save they can use their imagination and creatively travel to places. As their savings grows so will their map of the world, and their imagination.
Hold a month long race with your children to see who can save the most money. At the end of the month, add the totals and restart for the next month to keep the race going strong and children excited about saving! You can always add a prize to win at the end, such as an extra $5 in their savings.
As you and your children save money and learn together, don’t forget to take the hard-earned saved money and securely place it where you decide the safest place will be. There is a variety of options from savings accounts, college funds, CDs and more. Do what you feel is best for you and your child. And, before you know it saving money will become a natural habit for your children to continue.
What ways do you encourage your child to save their money? Leave a comment and let us know. Or, let us know how your parent’s taught you to save your money.