It’s important that kids learn how to save for the future as early as preschool. When you train a kid early, the things you teach them essentially form part of what they are in the future. Hence, if you teach your kids to become financially savvy during their formative years, they’ll learn to value the buck when they’re in their teens and even well beyond their adult years. So how does a parent make this happen?
Ages 3-6This is when you first introduce them to the foreign concept of saving. The best way to do this is the hands-on approach. Because they do not yet have to understand how banks work, you can always turn to the ever familiar piggybank. Even during these years, you need to give your kids a goal they can envision that will put meaning into the entire practice. Keep the goal small like money to buy something for their birthday or for Christmas. To prevent them from losing sight of that goal, you can tape the picture of the sought-after item on the side of the piggybank.
Ages 7-12Teaching your kids to save during these ages is a bit difficult because now your kids are receiving allowance and will definitely be tempted to make purchases, especially if their classmates are doing it. Forcing them to stop spending will only make them retaliate, so try to subtly cap their expenditures. You can do this by helping them divide their allowance for spending and saving. To compel them to really tuck away an amount, you can use jars or piggybanks which they’ll have to place money into. If they feel they’re old enough, you can help them open a bank account.
TeensConsidering the way teens have become huge consumers of various goods and services, your adolescents may want a number of things from the latest iPhone to tickets to the next 3D movie. You can use this to force them to save. Refuse to foot the bill for any of the items they want. That will require them to come up with the money themselves. If they have a job, hinting to them now and then about the cost of college education isn’t such a bad thing. In fact, this fosters responsibility which only shows how ready they are to leave the nest and go to a university miles from home.
Jason Adams is a financial author, financial adviser and a Certified Financial Planner. Check out cheap checks as one of his recommendation that will save yourself more money with your finances.