Saving money is something that everyone will have to learn at some point in their lives or another, so it makes perfect sense to get your kids familiar with the idea as early on as possible in their lives. The good news is that most kids will take very well to the idea of saving and you should be able to get your young one into the habit with very little trouble in your part.
Teach Children the Basics of Saving Money
One of the keys to teaching your children good saving habits is regular reinforcement. The good news is that money matters usually have to be considered numerous times every day anyway, so there are a lot of opportunities for you to teach your children some valuable lessons in the art of saving. As soon as your children are able to understand basic concepts such as getting paid for work rendered and how money can be used to buy necessary things and so forth, it is probably a good time to bring up the merits of saving and how they can go about it.
Weekly Allowance and Chores
An ideal opportunity to discuss savings is when you are discussing your child’s allowance. Try to determine certain tasks around the house that your children can do and that you will pay them for. These should be tasks that go beyond their normal chores but have to be done anyway. The point is not that they will have to be paid to do their chores – an approach that may well backfire on you when your young entrepreneur demands a fee for making his bed – but rather: that money doesn’t come for free, and that he will have to work to get it.
Shopping and Saving Money
Shopping is another great opportunity to introduce the concept of saving. You can start off by putting together a grocery list and cutting out coupons you can use. Ask your kids to find out which items go with which coupons, and discuss the merits of buying generic products versus branded products. You could then let your kids have any money that you save by using coupons, as a way to illustrate the potential savings they can realize.
Also explain the value of comparison shopping and waiting for items to go on sale. Of course you will also want to teach your kids the true value–as opposed to the apparent value–of certain products, and that buying essential foods such as milk and eggs is a lot more cost effective than buying non-essentials such as soda and candy.
Encourage saving. Make sure that your child has a piggy bank of some sort, whether it is an actual piggy bank or even just a milk bottle. Not only will this get your child into the habit of saving regularly, it will also give him an encouragement boost as he sees the bank get heavier and heavier everyday.
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