Saving With A Goal Program
As soon as we’re done carving the Thanksgiving turkey, our mailboxes are flooded with toy catalogs and our children are writing out their Christmas wish list.
Throughout the year, most parents encourage their children to save and spend money wisely. However, the message that we send to our children during the holidays about spending money may be confusing.
We splurge on high priced items and we buy things that are not necessarily needs but rather wants. While our family finances tend to be an “adult” thing, whether we believe it or not, the holidays are an ideal time to talk to our children about money.
Introducing the difference between needs and wants, learning about budgeting, and even charitable giving can be a great way to break the ice and have the money talk with your child during the holiday season.
TIP #1: START EARLY
As soon as your child starts to ask for things, I believe it’s time for them to understand that things cost money.
Introducing basic financial concepts such as good budgeting and saving habits early provides a good foundation for children to learn and practice good habits. This can help them grow to be responsible adults around money.
TIP #2: KEEP LEARNING FUN
No matter how enthusiastic parents are, trying to formally teach finance to young children can be extremely difficult. Making learning fun can be very helpful. Using visual aids such as books, games, videos, and even music can keep money lessons relevant, age-appropriate and a bit playful.
The Money Tree Board Game
TIP #3: GIVE AN ALLOWANCE
We teach our children all sorts of life skills, such as; how to read, cook, and also how to drive. But what about how to handle money?
Giving your child an allowance can help to teach them financial responsibility. Sit down with your child and speak to them about whether they will have to do chores/work for their allowance or if you will give an allowance freely.
NOTE: **It is very important to allow your kids make mistakes. It is better for them to make these mistakes while learning about money rather than out in the real world with real consequences. Mishandling money can serve as a great opportunity to talk with your child about budgeting.
TIP #4: PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
Many parents are extremely uncomfortable discussing money with their kids because many feel they don’t have the financial know-how themselves.
However, one of the most important things that you can do is allow your child to see you making smart decisions with your money. Take them to the bank with you to make a deposit into your savings account.
This will show your child that saving is a “normal thing”. Also, most young children want to mimic the actions of their parents, so making good decisions with your money will inspire them to do the same as they grow older.
Saving With A Goal
Have you had the money talk with your child? If so, how have your introduced personal finance to them?