April 04, 2013
In observance of Teach Children to Save Day on April 23rd, families should communicate the value of saving money to the young people in their lives. This summer, many children and teens in the community will be working to put some extra cash in their pockets. Whether he or she is doing odd jobs around the house or working at the local golf course, it’s the perfect time to teach your child financial lessons that will last a lifetime.
Education and hands-on money experience are critical to ensuring a new wave of smart money managers. Parents need to know that saving is important, and everyone can do it, even kids.
Children tend to emulate their parents' personal finance habits. If you are a spender, most likely they will be a spender. Set the example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscientious spender and an active saver. Let your children see the big picture of your finances and even share some details.
Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions, and be prepared to answer them – even the tough ones.
Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value of saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so. Ask them if they really need those new shoes when they have five good pairs at home.
Open a savings account for your children and take them with you to make deposits, so they can learn how to be hands-on in their money management. Teach them to save by helping them deposit fifty percent of their birthday money into their savings account each birthday.
Let friends and family know about your child’s savings goal. They’ll be more likely to give cash for special occasions, which means more trips to the bank. Grandparents, give your grandchildren two five dollar bills every so often. Tell them one five dollar bill needs to go in the savings account and that they can spend the other five dollar bill. Spend quality time with them by taking them to the bank to make the deposit.
Engage your community. Many schools, banks, and community organizations share your commitment to creating a money-savvy generation. Engage a coalition of support to provide youth with the education they need to succeed.