Last week banks across the nation celebrated Teach Children To Save Day. Teach Children to Save is a free national program sponsored by the ABA Foundation, that organizes banker volunteers throughout the year to help young people develop a savings habit early in life. Children grades K through 8 can begin learning about saving through virtual lessons promoting saving for the unexpected, interactive games designed to keep students interested and learning, and engagement guides.
Not only did we celebrate Teach Children to Save Day, but this coming week is Teacher Appreciation Week. What a perfect time to look at 5 ways we can teach our children good financial habits they can take with them into adulthood. We talked about using game play to teach kids about saving, let's look at some other ways you can do it.
1. 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.
"It needs to be part of the day-in, day-out conversation. As money topics come up and your kids are around, talk about them as openly as you feel comfortable.”- childmind.org
One way to do this is by including your children in basic financial decisions. You can also start the conversation about why some things cost more money.
2. Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value in saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so.
To quickly determine the difference between a want and need, think of a need being something required for survival. Needs are water for drinking, food to eat, clothing to keep you warm, and shelter to live in. On the other hand, a want is everything else. Wants are there to make life a little more enjoyable.
3. Set up a chore chart and give your children an allowance for completing their tasks.
Require them to save at least a small portion each week.
The three jars method, one for spending, one for saving and one for charitable contributions is a good way to impart a sense of responsibility.
4. Open up a savings account at your local bank for your children and take them with you to make deposits, so children can learn how to be hands-on in their money management.
5. Be an example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscious spender and an active saver.