We all know that teaching kids to save money is important. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed and wondering just how to accomplish that, don’t worry! We’ve put together a few tips as part of our Junior Money Masters adventure to help you start the conversation and show the kids in your life how to start saving.
Help Them Find a Safe Spot to Save Their Money
It doesn’t matter whether it’s in a piggy bank, shoe box, coffee mug, or a plastic bag. The important thing is that your child has a place to keep their spare change and/or bills. Letting them be involved in picking out the bank and having a goal in mind also increases the chance that they will want to put money into their account. Some kids are thrilled to watch their money grow through a clear container. Others find it easier to resist the temptation when they can't see their money.
There are plenty of kids’ games to reinforce financial concepts to children. Monopoly Jr. is designed for children over the age of 5. It's a great way to reinforce not only math and counting skills, but also how to manage money wisely. For example, if you want to buy a property like the arcade or the candy store, you have to pay for it. If you don’t have enough money, you can’t buy the property. Other family-friendly games to start conversations about managing money include Payday and The Game of Life. Apps like Savings Spree and Green$treets are another fun resource. They combine fun and finance into a kid-friendly format.
Use the Jar Method
Jay Cook, VP Commercial Lender, taught his kids the important of saving using the traditional method of using three different jars for spending, saving, and giving. This is an easy an easy way for kids to grasp the fundamental concepts managing their money by first earning money and then deciding how they would like to spend it. Read more about this method here in Jay’s blog.
Pay Them Interest
Even if you’re not ready to open up a bank account for your child, you can still teach kids about the concept of interest and the benefits of letting money sit in a savings account. It can be as simple as having them count their savings monthly, and then adding a few extra cents (or dollars) to their pile. Each month, you can pay them interest that is proportional to the amount of money they saved that month.
Let them make Spending Mistakes
Yep, you read that correctly. The damage from a $5 spending mistake during childhood is nothing in comparison to a $500 or $5,000 spending mistake in adulthood. If your child receives birthday money or an allowance, let them bring it to the store and purchase whatever they’d like (within reason, of course!). Valuable lessons can be learned from the $2 toy that breaks after 30 seconds of use. The lesson, here? It's worth it to skip the instant gratification purchases and instead save your money for the things that are really worth it. When a child has to use their own money, they will think more carefully about how they spend it.
Whether you have a three year old or a thirteen year old, there are a number of different ways to teach the kids in your life how to save money, and perhaps most importantly, why they should save money. At Marine Bank, we’re with you every step of the way! Check out our Pinterest Boards for more ideas!
Junior Money Masters is a program created by Marine Bank as resource for parents to teach their kids ages 5-10 years old about finances in a fun and exciting way. While working through each of the three key financial concepts: earning, saving, and spending, you will watch your child begin to understand how to apply them to everyday choices that affect long-term financial habits.
Download a Junior Money Master Packet for your child
More Resources on teaching kids about SAVING: