Just like riding a bike, saving money is something we all have to learn to do. And like that bike, it’s easier to make an action a natural reflex when you learn it at a younger age. Use these three simple tips to talk to your child and teach them the importance of saving money.
1. Pick a Goal
Saving for the sake of saving may be a difficult concept for kids to grasp. Instead, start first by asking your kid what saving money means to them. To them, it might be candy or a treat they don’t often get, or maybe it’s spending money for an app. Whatever their answer is, help them pick a goal that is easy to achieve, and they are excited about it!
2. Take Baby Steps
Just like with adults, when your child first starts saving, encourage them to start small. Kids are all about instant gratification, and by setting short-term goals, they’ll see the results sooner and realize the power they have to make their goals happen. If your kids are older, try a slightly longer-term goal to learn the importance of planning. It will also help them weigh if more expensive purchases are worth it in the future – and that’s a valuable lesson they can take into adulthood.
3. Set the Right Schedule
As your child starts to see their savings grow, they may be tempted to spend it. And going back to instant gratification, it may be hard for them to choose not to spend the money. That’s why it’s important to set the appropriate time frame to reach their goal. For younger kids or first-time savers, a few days for a smaller goal may be the perfect first lesson. When your child is older, set the schedule that matches their level of maturity and patience. Whatever the age, continue to encourage them and remind them that every little amount will help them reach their goal.
Talking to your kid about money early on will help them get to practice and develop healthy spending habits so that they can be prepared for financial well-being as an adult.
If you’re looking for more helpful financial tips and tools to better plan, spend, save, and borrow, check out PlanU by UFCU. You’ll find options from talking with a financial health expert to creating a personalized resource center to meet your needs.