It feels like piggy banks and Dollarmites accounts are a thing of the past, doesn’t it? All those old ways that parents used to teach kids to save money seem to be ancient relics in a land of pay-pass, PayPal and in-app game purchasing. When money isn’t as tangible as it used to be, what hope do we have of teaching children about money?
How To Teach Kids To Save In A World Set On Spending
The first step is to put kids in the right frame of mind for understanding money. They don’t see it. All they see is magic cards being swiped and buttons being clicked.
This might sound old-school but a great way to start to teach kids to save is to ACTUALLY GO TO AN ATM and get some cash out. They still exist, they’re not myths. Children often struggle with abstract concepts so seeing some actual cold-hard cash (notes and coins) will make it easier for them to assign value to currency.
Half and Half
A desired object can be a great incentive for saving. If there is a particular item your child really wants, suggest they earn the money around the house. You can assign different cash rewards for different chores (mowing the lawn, dog walking – whatever is appropriate for your home). Once they manage to save to a certain amount (half of the cost) promise to match the other half.
Be careful with this one as they can be addictive but an interesting way to teach kids to save money is through games like SIMS, Smurfs or Bit City. In these games, you have to earn certain amounts of money to be able to purchase items to help build your home or village. There are a variety of games like this where characters have to earn income in order to purchase goods – just like you do every day! (Except you don’t have little notification symbols over your head)
Discuss saving money
Be open and discuss the importance of saving money. Discuss the why’s and how’s. Explain to them that they are responsible for saving their allowance if they really want something. And most importantly, lead by example. Let your child see you saving, even if it is just a few loose coins here and there in an empty jar.
How do you teach kids to save money?
Have you got any tips for understanding money for kids? If you’re prepared to share the wealth (ha!) then please give your feedback in the comments.
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