Money can be tempting to spend for everyone. Kids especially want to immediately spend it on toys, candy, or other cool items that are a “must have”. This is why it is so important that we teach kids to save money. If we as parents effectively teach them the importance of saving money and buying only necessities, then we hopefully will raise responsible, self-funding adults.
Here are a few ideas you can use to help teach your kids the importance of money. Some ideas involve crafty ideas that fully involve the kids in counting, saving, and goal setting.
The first crafty idea involves creating a change jar. You could do something as simple as a decorated jar with a cut lid (to lessen the temptation of “breaking into the piggy bank”), or something more complicated such as a lock and key system (which completely eliminates swiping change for candy bars or unnecessary items). There are TONS of crafts on the internet, including kids you can purchase. Personally, I prefer to do it the “cheap” way, and select a jar we aren’t using to decorate. When the kids were little, we used small drinking glasses and construction paper. They LOVED those change jars and wanted to drop their coins in them all the time!
This works especially well if they are wanting something specific. If they are wanting an expensive toy and don’t have enough, you can make up a chart to track how much they are saving. Visuals are great for kids, and encourages them to really try hard to save for something they really want. Your kids saving money won’t be just a good habit, but a goal to them.
By promising to match funds, they’ll aim for higher amounts. You can do this two different ways. Either match your kids savings at a specific time (such as monthly, yearly, etc), or at the time of a big purchase. Encourage them to save more to get more in return. If they spend money, it’s like spending double that amount. The promise to double your money is quite an incentive!
Another way to teach kids about saving money is to encourage their own type of fundraising efforts. This could include a lemonade stand, making their own jewelry, or as basic as doing a set amount of chores. Just the other day at Farmer’s Market I saw a little girl selling necklaces she had made on her own. While her sales were being donated once she hit a certain amount, she was learning a lesson on the value of money and goal setting. Tables at venues like this are as inexpensive as $10-20.
Do you have an idea to add? If so, be sure to post in the comments! I’m always interested in hearing new ideas and ways to teach kids how to save money!