As a parent, you usually want your children to have the best that life has to offer.
Unfortunately, you know that it can be quite difficult to get the money that you need sometimes as an adult… and you wish that there was some way that you could spare your children these same problems. Luckily, there may actually be a way that you can help your children to prepare for the future today; by encouraging them to start saving money while they’re young, you can set up habits that will follow them into adulthood and possibly even help them to build up a nest egg to help them along their way.
Children and Money
Children like money… after all, it’s used to buy the things that they enjoy and it’s so hard for them to get. Even small amounts of money seem huge to a small child. That said, children tend to like instant gratification of their wants and desires, so whatever toy or piece of candy that they might want is very likely to be purchased should they be able to afford it. The key to helping your children to save money is to get them to realize that better things can come along if they save the money that they have for a later day.
Rewards and Encouragement
The easiest way to get your children used to the idea of saving money is to offer up a rewards system when they manage to save some of their allowance or other money. Perhaps you’d offer to give them a little bit of extra money after they save up a certain amount, or tell them that you’ll pay a portion of the cost for something that they want if they can save up the rest of the amount. You should also periodically ask them how much they have saved up, offering them encouragements for a job well done when they start to build a little bit of savings.
Don’t Send Mixed Signals
However you choose to encourage your children to save money, it’s important that you stay consistent with what you tell them. Don’t tell them that they’re saving their money so that they can get the more expensive things that they want later only to punish them when they spend it on something that they’ve been saving for. Make sure that they understand that it’s their money and that they can do whatever they like with it, but if they continue to save it then they’re more likely to be able to reap the rewards of it at a later time.
After your children have gotten the hang of saving money, you might want to get them a savings account. Make sure that they go with you so that they can be a part of the process… after all, it’s their first bank account. It can help a child to feel confident about savings knowing that they’re doing a “grown up” thing like opening a bank account. You should also take them with you whenever a deposit is going to be made, so that they can personally give the teller the money and continue the “grown up” feel of banking.
Though it may just be them thinking that they’re more mature than they are, the positive feelings associated with depositing the money will likely carry over to later life and help to reinforce the habit of saving money long after they’ve gone out into the world as an adult.