10 Blogger Tips to Encourage Your Children to SaveAs Bud and LM are still quite small the subject of encouraging them to save hasn't really become an issue yet. They both have money boxes and, if anyone gives them pennies we pop them into there but we haven't managed to get around to opening bank accounts for them yet.
Bud is in Spain this week with family and it's the first occasion we have needed to supply him with pocket money to spend/ Of course we passed this to his Aunt to look after for him but it has really started to make me think about how to explain money and savings to him and help him to treat it with respect.
I've asked a few of my best blogger friends to come up with some tips to help me encourage my two to save.
1. Laura suggests opening a savings account for them but don't tell them about it. This allows you to save for their future without the temptation to dip into it and you can share it with them when they need it for study, a wedding or some other important event. Of course this doesn't encourage them to save but it would be amazing to accrue a secret pot of money for their future.
2. Tami allows her children to choose something to save up for. Having a target for their money means that they aren't tempted to spend it on other things.
3. Jenny has older children so a more pressing agenda in explaining saving and budgeting. She feels that it's important to not bail them out all the time. They need to learn to save and budget and this won't happen if they know they can fall back on the bank of mum and dad. It can be hard as parents instinctively want to help their children but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
4. Fiona has a really good suggestion which sees her children save half of any money they receive and spend the rest. That way they get an immediate treat but also understand that saving is important too. This could tie in nicely to some of the other suggestions about saving for something special too.
5. Jennifer suggests you make it fun, maybe decorate a piggy bank or if using a bank account create a chart with stickers to show that the more they save then the closer they are to a 'target' such as a new toy or day out.
6. I really like Anna's idea - to play games with them using pretend money to get them used to basic finance and let them look at, and ask questions about, prices when in the shops so they get an idea about the cost and value of things. This sounds like a great way to increase children's awareness around how much things cost and to help to teach them that buying things costs money.
7. Angela thinks that saving for a specific item means that children really understand that there is a reward in the length of time taken to save up. This would work really well if your child receives pocket money and could even be used to start with early budgeting for example, if they save £1 of their £2 pocket money every week for ten weeks then they will be able to but it in ten weeks. However, if they save all of their pocket money they could afford it in five weeks. Good for maths skills too.
8. I love Tina's suggestion to use a visual representation of saving so a child can see it growing. This is a great way of making the quite abstract concept of money clear and understandable to a little one. Tina uses Lego with each brick representing a particular amount of money and marbles in a jar could work too. You could even get out all of the bricks or marbles needed to buy an item and put them in two jars, that way your child could see them moving from one to the other and see how much nearer they are getting to their target.
9. Tina pays her child for helping her with jobs around the house and he is also allowed to pay for family treats like an ice cream on a day out. This allows him to understand his position in the family and feel like he is contributing, He's recently started a fund to save for the tournaments in one of his sports.
10. I've been thinking about it and I think I'm going to teach my children about money saving in a different way. I'm a huge bargain hunter so, in future, if they want something, I'm going to be encouraging them to shop around for bargains and to look for vouchers to make it cheaper. Accruing money in savings is necessary but I think it's also important to make sure they know how to make those pennies go further and to get the most for their money.
Do you have any tips for helping children to learn to save?