Sammy the Saver’s Reading Corner

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TIPS & RESOURCES

1. Discuss Wants vs. Needs

The first step in teaching kids the value of saving is to help them distinguish between wants and needs. Explain that needs include the basics, such as food, shelter, and clothing, and wants are all the extras. You can use your own budget as an example to illustrate how wants should take a back seat to needs in terms of spending.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Saving money is a habit that parents can teach their children at a young age.
  • The first step is to explain important concepts like savings, budgeting, and goals—then keep the conversation ongoing.
  • Giving children an allowance can teach them the value of money and the importance of hard work.
  • Younger children might keep their savings in a savings jar, but older ones might want to keep their money in a Credit Union while working on their goals.
  • Children can learn the importance of living within their means, which is one of the basic tenets of saving.

 

2. Let Them Earn Their Own Money

If you want your children to become savers, allowing them to earn and save money provides them with the opportunity to learn how to use it. When you offer allowances in exchange for chores, they’re also learning the value of their hard work.

3. Set Savings Goals

To a kid, being told to save—without explaining why—may seem pointless. Helping children define a savings goal can be a better way to get them motivated. If they know what it is they want to save for, help them break down their goals into manageable bites. For example, if they want to buy a $7500 video game and they get a $500 allowance each week, help them figure out how long it will take to reach that goal, based on their savings rate.

4. Provide a Place to Save

Once your children have a savings goal in mind, they’ll need a place to stash their cash. For younger kids, this may be a savings jar, but if they’re a little older, you may want to set them up with a savings account at a credit union. That way, they can see how their savings are adding up and how much progress they’re making toward their goal.