Saving money is one of the most important aspects of building wealth and having a secure financial foundation. Yet many of us have learned the importance of saving money through trial and error, and more importantly, experience.
If you are a parent, here are 6 ways to teach your children about saving money.
START WITH A PIGGY BANK-A piggy bank can be a great way to teach your kids the importance of saving, while giving them an easy way to do it. Tell your kids that the goal is to fill up the piggy bank with dollars and coins, until there is no room. Illustrate that the piggy bank is for saving money for the future and that the more they save, the more their money will grow.
OPEN UP A BANK ACCOUNT-Once the piggy bank is full, take your child to the bank to open up a savings account for them. Have them count how much money is going to be deposited, so they can have a physical understanding of how much money they have. Show them the final number and reinforce the idea of interest. It can provide a great source of motivation for your kids if they understand that their money will grow over time as long as they don’t touch it.
USE SAVINGS JARS –When your kids really want the latest and greatest toy or a new action figure, let them know they will have to save up for it. Give them a jar for each of their desired purchases and offer them a small allowance each week in a denomination that encourages savings. For example, if you give your child five dollars a week, give it to them in one dollar bills. They can save all their cash for one purchase, or they can contribute to different “jars” for various savings goals. To encourage saving up for their short-term goals, put a picture of their desired toy or item on the jar, so they have a visual reminder of what they are working towards.
CREATE A TIMELINE-As a kid, the concepts of money and time can be hard to grasp. Research has shown that the impact of a one hour financial lesson wears off after about five months. One way to keep money lessons ongoing is to create a timeline so that your child can visualize when they will reach their goal.
LEAD BY EXAMPLE-Children learn by example, so the best way to teach your child about saving money is to save money yourself. Have your own jar of money that you put funds in regularly. When you’re out shopping, show your children how to discern between various prices and explain why buying one item makes better sense than another.
START A CONVERSATION-. An innocent question such as “Are we rich?” can be answered in a way that emphasizes family values, such as hard work and responsible spending. Let your children know they can have an allowance, but it’s up to them to save up for things they really want. In addition, illustrate how much their money can grow over time if they save. Teaching kids how to save money may seem like a tough task. It has even been said that parents are more likely to talk to their children about sex than about money. But using these tips, you can make your child’s understanding of money fun and accessible. It’s an investment in knowledge which truly pays the best interest.
- Use a clear jar to save. The piggy bank is a great idea, but it doesn’t give kids any visual. When you use a clear jar, they see the money growing. Yesterday, they had a dollar bill and five dimes. Today, they have a dollar bill, five dimes and a quarter! Talk through this with them and make a big deal about it!
- Set an example. Little eyes are watching you. If you’re slapping down plastic every time you go out to dinner or to the grocery store, they will eventually notice. If, at the end of every month, you and your spouse are arguing about money, they’ll notice.Set a healthy example for them, and they’ll be much more likely to follow it when they get older.
- Show them that stuff costs money.You’ve got to do more than just say, “That pack of toy cars costs $5, son.” Help them grab a few dollars out of the jar, take it with them to the store, and physically hand the money to the cashier. This simple action will do more than just a five-minute lecture.
- Show opportunity cost. That’s just another way of saying, “If you buy this video game, then you won’t have the money to buy that pair of shoes.” At this age, your kids should be able to weigh decisions and realize that each decision has a consequence.
- Give commissions, not allowances. Don’t just give your kids money for breathing. Pay them commissions based on chores they do around the house like taking out the trash, cleaning their room, or mowing the grass. This will help them understand that money is earned—it’s not just given to them.
- Stress the importance of giving. Once they start making a little money, be sure you teach them about giving. They can pick a church, a charity or even someone they know who needs a little help. Eventually, they’ll see how giving doesn’t just affect the people they give to, it affects the giver as well.
- Give them the responsibility of a bank account.By the time your kid is a teenager, you should be able to set them up with a simple bank account if you’ve been doing some of the above all along. This takes money management to the next level, and it will prepare them for (hopefully) managing a much heftier account balance when they get older.
- “Help” them find a job. Teenagers have plenty of free time—fall break, summer break, winter break, spring break. If your teen needs money (and what teen doesn’t need money?), then help them find a job. Who knew that working was a great way to make money?
- Teach them the danger of credit cards. As soon as your kid turns 18, they will get hounded by credit card salesmen—especially once they’re in college. If you haven’t taught them why debt is a bad idea, they’ll become another credit card victim.
100 Chores Your Kids Can Do For An Allowance
Toddler to 4 years old:
- Sort laundry separating darks and whites – $0.75
- Gather dirty clothes and take to laundry room-$0. 75
- Use a Swiffer on floors-$0.75
- Comb or brush pets (gently with instruction)-$0.75
- Pickup toys-$0.95
- Make bed (pull blankets up and neaten things)-$1.00
- Wipe down baseboards-$ 0.85
- Help feed pets-$ 0.95
- Put clean clothing away-$ 0.95
- Dust low surfaces-$0.95
- Set the table for meals-$1.00
- Match socks-$0.o95
- Fold washcloths-$1.00
5 -10 years old:
- Vacuum- $ 1.75
- Wipe down counters -$1.00
- Start laundry -$2.00
- Swap laundry from washer to dryer-$ 1.75
- Clean toilets -$1.00
- Load the dishwasher-$ 2.00
- Unload the dishwasher-$2.00
- Clean the refrigerator-$1.75
- Take out the trash-$ 2.50
- Clean windows-$ 0.95
- Clean mirrors-$0.95
- Sort and take out recycling-$ 2.75
- Fold laundry -$3.00
- Water plants or garden-$1.50
- Pick produce from garden-$1.00
- Weed garden-$ 1.00
- Rake leaves-$1.50
- Clean toilet-$ 1.50
- Wipe down cabinets-$1.00
- Assist with food prep (chop, mix, watch as needed and able)-$1.95
- Groom pets-$ 3.00
- Take dog for a walk as needed-$ 4.00
- Scoop litter pans-$ 2.00
- Change linens on their bed-$1.75
- Get the mail-$ 0.50
- Clean microwave-$ 1.25
- Wipe down stove top (when cooled)-$ 0.75
- Clean kitchen sink-$ 1.98
- Wipe down kitchen counters-$1.00
11-14 years old:
- Prepare basic meals like boxed items, reheat frozen items, etc. -$ 4.00
- Assist younger siblings with baths-$ 3.00
- Assist younger siblings with getting dressed each day-$4.00
- Wash and dry clothing-$5.00
- Mop floors- $2.75
- Clean ceiling fans- $3.00
- Dust higher shelves- $ 3.00
- Wash pots and pans (or other items that don’t go in the dishwasher)- $ 5.75
- Help mow the lawn- $8.00
- Gather limbs and wood for the fireplace- $ 9.00
- Change out batteries in smoke detectors- $4.00
- Organize the pantry- $ 5.00
- Clean out the freezer-$4.75
- Clean bathroom tub or shower-$ 4.00
- Clean out the car-$2.00
- Vacuum the car-$2.00
- Prepare lunches for school- $ 2.75
- Put groceries away-$2.75
- Feed younger siblings-$ 4.50
- Change younger siblings diapers or help with toddler potty time- $ 4.00 or $ 5.00
- Sanitize door knobs, handles, light switches and other commonly touched surfaces-$ 2.50
- Sweep front or back porch- $ 1.75
- Help plant a garden-$ 2.75
- Clip coupons $ 3.00
- Pick clothing for he next day for themselves and younger siblings-$ 3.50
- Help with younger siblings bath time- $ 3.50
- Bake cookies, cakes, brownies or simple breads- $4.00
- Wash and prep fruits and vegetables for lunch box, breakfast or meals-$ 3.00
- Straighten the living room or family room- $ 2.50
- Dust coffee tables, end tables and pictures-$ 2.75
15-18 years old:
- Mow the lawn – $10.00
- Use the weed whacker or pull weeds- $7.50
- Wash the car $ 15.00
- Run errands for parents $13.00
- Make a menu plan$ 9.00
- Make a grocery list$ 8.00
- Go shopping for groceries$ 7.50
- Handle pool care (testing, cleaning, etc.)-$ 5.000
- Clean outdoor furniture and grill-$ 10.50
- Babysit younger siblings-$18.00 and tip if u late
- Check younger siblings homework-$ 7.00
- Clean out garage-$5.00
- Clean out attic-$5.00
- Trim hedges-$7.00
- Clean the family office (dust, organize, empty trash, etc.)-$ 9.00
- Paint or do minor household repairs (change light bulbs, add caulk around sinks, etc.)-$15.00
- Create the family budget-$ 7.50
- Change the oil in their car or family car-$5.00
- Take vehicles for basic maintenance checkups (tire rotation, tune up, etc.)-$ 7.00
- Wax the car-$ 10.50
- Take siblings to the library, playground movie theater or event-$25 and up
- Iron clothes-$5.75
- Drop off and pick up dry cleaning-$6.00
- Wash outside windows-$2.500
- Use power washer to clean mold/mildew from outside of the home-$5.00
- Empty cat litter pans-$ 6.00
- Clean the stove-$5.00
This list of chores your kids – teenagers can do for an allowance covers basic daily needs as well as things that will teach them necessary life skills for their future. Allowances vary depending on the family, but teaching your kids the value of a dollar and responsibility for their actions is a great reason to use this list to get started with daily, weekly and monthly chore charts.