America Saves Week is the first of a few specially named efforts this time of year to help all of us remember to be mindful about our money. This is a great time to think about money management for kids!
Teaching a child to save is such a great way to re discover our own Money Personalities as well as to set the child on a good practice of regular savings. When I was young my family did not talk about money. I always felt safe and we always sat down for dinner together to eat a pretty well balanced meal. When tax time came around my dad would close the door to his den and set up extra tables and really go to town. We were not invited in and in fact he did not come out too often until it was finished. My parents were very good with money and my dad continues to give every dollar purpose and value. BUT I did not learn by osmosis!! A simple Save Spend and Share bank is a visual cue that speaks volumes. It helps lead a conversation.
Teaching my kids to save started with each of them opening a savings account. They would take part of any money that came their way and put it in the SAVE box of the Moonjar. When they had $100 we would deposit it into the savings accounts. My kids are all in college now (yes three in college – YIPES)! And they each contribute to their tuition. The idea of saving when the bills are so big is very hard to wrap around but I am trying to help them understand that paying themselves first is key. In fact I just texted my senior and asked if she understood that she always needs to save some part of a check and she very quickly responded that in fact she does! Maybe that is from the trips to deposit into the savings account.
Teaching a child to save is as individual as each child and family. There is no one size fits all percentage to put into savings. Some suggest 10%, some 20%- it seems to me that is a family choice and in fact, it may change often given the needs of any time frame. The real key is making it consistent. Saving can become a great habit if we talk about it, encourage it and keep the conversation growing as the kids do.
Allowance is a great way to start. An Allowance kit can be as simple as a Moonjar and a calendar, the key is to create a savings habit when teaching kids about money. Good habits can create great learning opportunities. Teaching kids about money can be fun!