As parents we want the best for our children, and to set the best example for them as well. And dealing with money and saving is no different.
Here are some tips to get you started:
1) Start Early – Teach them that their piggy bank is not just a toy, but their friend, so treat it with respect!
2) Set Limits and Teach Patience – ‘Everything in moderation’ is a good motto. Teach them to make good sound, well thought out decision and not rush into anything. Anything worth doing, is worth waiting for. Teach them to make good sound decisions, help them and encourage them along the way, then let them have the reigns and make the final decisions – within reason!
3) Empower Them – Don’t be afraid to talk about spending, your money and theirs. Encourage their input, in the store, even at the ice cream truck! Life is full of teachable moments that touches on financial decisions. They are never to young. Either you teach them or they’ll be learning it on the street.
4) Challenge Them – Make saving fun, not something to be afraid of or avoid. Turn it into something positive – even though as adults we tend to see financial issues as the glass half full, try not to pass that perspective on to children. Kids love to compete and win. Come up with some fun activities and challenges, like who can fill the jar fastest with coins, or who can spend the least in a store and still get the best toy, etc.
5) Praise Them – Use positive reinforcement when they make good decisions (way to go, great decision). And even more important, use positive explanations when what they do or decide isn’t the greatest. We all make mistakes, it’s what we learn from them that matters most.
6) BONUS TIP – Teach children, through your words but more importantly your actions, that sharing truly is caring, and that it applies to money as well. They need to know, and to be shown, that you can’t put a price on what we get in return from donating money or time, or helping out in any way, others who are in need. That feeling can be priceless!
Always remember, as parents what we do is more important than what we say, but both set the foundation on how children interact with and perceive money, financial issues, savings and charity in their life.
And that foundation will last the rest of their lives.
Be consistent, but be kind as well.