Teach them to save early.
Just like many things, teaching your children as early as you can will help to deeply root this in their attitude and their psyche. Approach it like you did when you were teaching them to brush their teeth. You made it part of their everyday routine.
Money habits work the same way. When they get older they will have to make small financial decisions everyday. If they don’t have a framework for how to make those decisions they will revert to what they know.
Instilling habits takes patience and time. If this is really something you want your children to understand, convince yourself you will be working on this for years to come and you will have more patience when they fret about not being able to buy that toy at the store.
Have an open dialogue.
This may seem obvious, but with the busy lives we live it can be not so straight forward. Reminding yourself to have a conversation about money and how to use it practically will help you to continue teaching your children the right way.
It can be easier if you watch for teachable moments. Every time you go to the grocery store with them, take a few minutes extra and talk to them about how much their favorite cereal costs. Help them through the mental exercise of how long it would take for them to earn enough money to buy it. Talk to them about sales tax when they buy a toy. These little conversations go a long way. They will learn more by you taking them through each concept with a lesson that means something personally to them.
Physically put the money they are saving somewhere.
When children are first learning about money they need to be shown in concrete terms. This means you’ll have to do everything literally and physically. As an exercise, give them the money they earned from their chores in $1 bills. Take an even percentage like 10% to save, then have them take those dollars and physically place them in the savings jar.
When their savings jar reaches a certain amount, take them physically to the bank and help them open a savings account. They will get a statement showing the amount of money they have in there each month. They will equate this amount with the savings jar. These are the very first steps to helping them build a solid foundation.
The easiest way to get your children to understand and start saving is to show them how you do it.
They should think it’s a problem if they aren’t saving.
If you are creating a productive conversation around money with your children, you will be talking about the importance of saving and what will happen if they don’t form this much needed habit. Just like reasons you are giving them for brushing their teeth, you will be explaining to them that the pain of not saving is worse than the pain of saving.
Have a child that has been diligently saving? Come by one of our branches and let’s get them their own savings account.