A new school year could mean a new routine for you and your family. In the midst of driving to practice or helping your kids with homework, it can be challenging to teach them the value of money. Here are a few ways to teach kids at any age to be savvy savers.
Younger kids can learn valuable math skills by counting coins and spending money from their piggy bank. If they currently don’t have an allowance, consider starting one to help them learn the concept of working for money and building self-reliance in the process.
- Start small and add responsibilities over time.
- Help set small goals (saving for an inexpensive toy) and larger goals (saving for a new video game).
- Ask if they are willing to chip in when they want a new item. This will help them think about additional wants that may or may not be worth it.
Kids in middle school can learn more advanced skills, such as using coupons and discounts to get more for their money. They are more likely to shop around for a better offer to save for other items and goals. Middle school could mean more time with friends outside of the house so consider helping them set budgets for “fun money” versus personal savings goals. They will also have more needs as they grow older. Teaching negotiation skills for a higher allowance could mean introducing them to bigger responsibilities.
High school and college kids may need a checking account as they begin to manage an allowance and part-time job out of the house. Help them set up a bank account, and teach them how to manage ATMs and debit cards responsibly. You can also teach older teens and young adults:
- About credit scores and saving for emergencies.
- How to set bigger savings goals, like saving for a vacation or car.
- About household budgets. Let them pick a profession, research the average salary and plan what their money would go towards each month.
It’s never too soon to learn good savings habits. All ages can benefit from working for money and setting up their own savings accounts for longer term goals. Consider adding in some fun along the way with prizes and contests as well as letting younger kids use the drive thru to make a deposit into their account.
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