When you think back to your childhood do you remember the lemonade stands and neighborhood tasks that you did to earn money? Do you remember spending it all at the first candy shop you visited or saving some of it for a rainy day? Today, I am going to share with you a few simple ways for kids to save money.
The habits that we develop as children help to shape the kind of people we are to become. Helping your child to learn ways to save money will set the stage for being financially responsible later in life. I always worry that we are not properly teaching our kids the value of a dollar. I know it is a hard concept for children to learn, but if we start young enough they will be able to make wise decisions with their money as they grow up.
I shared with you a few side jobs that kids can do for money, but since my boys are still fairly young they cannot complete a lot of these tasks. Instead, we focus on simple ways for our kids to save money so that it is fun and educational.
Even though they are young, my kids do enjoy having certain jobs and chores to do around our home. They like feeling important enough to have the responsibility of a required daily task. As they are getting older we do use chore charts, but our focus is on teaching them the ‘why’ behind saving money. It is difficult trying to explain to a child that they cannot get every item they want at a store. My husband and I rely heavily on this and always explain to our children why we cannot buy everything rather than just saying ‘we can’t afford it.’
Below you will find a short list on simple ways for your kids to save money that we try to utilize in our home.
Simple Ways for Kids to Save Money
Make a Big Deal out of the Bank
If your child doesn’t have a bank of his own, then choose one together. Make it one that he’s proud of and wants to use. Then encourage found coins or other money saved to be put into the bank. Once it’s full, make an event of taking it to the bank to deposit the saved money into your child’s savings account. By making a big deal out of saving money, your child will begin to see the importance of this part of managing money.
For my son’s birthday he received a piggy bank that actually has a password on it. This was honestly the GREATEST gift he has ever received. He absolutely loves having it because he gets to have a secret code to open it. Although the bank is a little bit more expensive then other piggy banks it has been worth it becasues he wants to save more money to use his awesome bank. You can checkout the piggy bank he has if you are interested in getting one for your child.
When a child receives birthday gifts, teaching him to spend part of it and save part of it will help to teach the importance of saving money. Once you establish the habit of putting part of all gifted money into a bank, your child will understand that it’s just what you do.
This is something that we tried with out boys this year. As they get older, our relatives will give them a small amount of money instead of purchasing toys. We then encourage them to save some and spend some. They are allowed to purchase a gift at the toys store with it, but they have to put a certain amount into their piggy banks as well.
Some parents believe in allowance, whereas others do not. If you subscribe to this belief, it can be a great way to teach children to save. Once your child is at an age that he understands his responsibilities, giving a small weekly allowance for accomplishing those tasks (clean up toys, make bed, etc) will help him learn to save a portion of it, spend a portion and donate a part to the cause of his choice.
This is along the same lines as paying your child for chores. Your kids may not want money as an incentive so you may choose not to do this, but if you do I would encourage you to do the savings and spendings jars or piggy banks rather than allowing them to spend it all.
Tasks around the Neighborhood
Depending on the age of your child, there are many services that he might offer around the neighborhood. Mowing lawns, planting flowers and babysitting are just a few ideas of things that your child might do to make money. Once that money is earned, reinforcing the need to save a part of it will remind him of that importance.
Again, I have an article of side jobs for kids that you can take a look at for inspiration to help your child earn money as they get older.
It’s all about Why
One of the most important parts of saving money, and teaching kids to make it a habit, is talking about why we do it. Rather than simply saying “You need to put part of your money in the bank,” explain why it’s so important. You may want to explain that, by saving, you have money to use when you get older.
You may also want to use saving as an incentive for accumulating the amount needed for that special toy that he’s been asking to have. By telling your child why it’s important for him to save, and sharing (in a nutshell) why adults save money, it will help him to understand where his money is going when it goes to the bank.
We like to include our children into our savings goals that are a apart of our budget binder. This helps them to understand why we cannot purchase certain items and how they can help to contribute money to our family savings. For example, if we are saving money for a family vacation we include them in the process. There have been numerous occasions where my boys have handed me money to put into our vacation fund. A bit of advice with this is to be cautious because you do not want your children to feel the burden of not having enough money and them having to save or you cannot go on vacation. Just make it fun and include them in the process along the way.
Save for a Cause
As you talk with your child about the importance of saving money, you may also want to talk about causes that need the financial support of others to make a difference. Whether it’s the local animal rescue shelter or a world-wide effort, helping your child to see what a difference he can make by donating to other people will help to build compassion as well as will instill a sense of saving for a cause.
My children look forward to taking money with them when we go to our grocery store because there is a box for donations that helps children in need.
Do you have other ways for kids to save money? Please share your thoughts and ideas.