4 expert tips to turn your kids into money-savers for life

Learning how to save money is an important skill in life. By showing your kids when they're young how to save a little each week for something they want, you'll be teaching them money-saving habits that will pay off big in the end. Here are 4 expert tips to help them handle money well throughout their lives.

4 expert tips to turn your kids into money-savers for life

Tip #1: Set specific goals

It's much easier for kids to save when they have something to aim towards. Have them create a list of things they want. You can add to it as well.

  • If they have a concrete goal such as a new bicycle, doll, video game or something else, they will be able to visualize it, which makes it easier to set aside money.

Tip #2: Buy a cute piggy bank

Sometimes it can be helpful for your kids to have a piggy bank or some other kind of container where they can deposit money and not be able to access it.

  • It's tempting to spend money that you can get your hands on, isn't it? (The same applies to grown-ups!) But if your child puts it into a piggy bank, then it's out of sight and out of mind.

Tip #3: Teach your kids to be frugal

When you're out with your kids, teach them little tricks to prevent them from needlessly squandering their money. For example:

  • When you're at the store, tell them that instead of buying a soda there they should wait to have a beverage at home and put that $1.50 into their savings! (Remind them of what they are working towards as an incentive.)
  • If they receive money for lunch, help them learn different ways of shaving down costs at restaurants, like coupons and daily deals, so that they can put the money they don't spend into their piggy banks.
  • If they want to go see a movie, explain that matinées are often much cheaper and a lot less crowded. Plus they should always avoid the overpriced food concessions inside the theatre and could opt for something cheaper (and better) to eat afterwards.

Tip #4: Help them set a budget

It's never too early to increase your kids' financial wisdom. Sit down with them to talk about planning a budget in terms they understand.

  • Whether it's from an allowance or a job, sit with them to see how much money they have each week. Then look at how much they spend and what they need (or want) to spend it on. If they want to save for an expensive item, they can do extra chores around the house to earn more money to put away in savings.

It'll help your child to write down how much of his or her money should go into what activity or purchase each week. For example $2 for candy; $5 for bus fare; $8 for lunch; $5 in the piggy bank for a new bike. That way he or she will have an idea of what's happening with the money.

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