Ten Tips on Teaching Children to Save by Pamela S Thibodeaux (c) 2015
Many parents open a savings account for their children before they are born but how many fail to teach those same children the importance of saving regularly?
Statistics show that the average American is thousands of dollars in debt and each generation goes one step deeper into that pit. By teaching our children good money management we can help them avoid the same pitfalls we encounter.
The bible teaches us to be good stewards of what God entrusts to us and to train up our children in the way they should walk. These principles also apply to money. Below are a few tips to help you do so.
#1 Start early! Every monetary gift your child receives does NOT have to be spent on frivolous items. If your child is too young to understand the value of a dollar then it is up to you to put that money away for them.
#2 Exchange bills for rolls of coins, even if it is only $1. This makes the next step easier and helps them see how much they can spend.
#3 Divide each dollar into three categories and have a special bank or jar marked for each: Savings (10%), Tithing or Giving (10%) and Spending 80%. This not only instills these important principles into their fertile minds, it helps them with their math. Children as young as three or four can quickly learn the principles of saving, giving and spending if we merely take the time to teach them.
#4 Teach them about taxes. A child needs to learn that even if he or she has $.80 cents to spend, they must allow for sales tax.
#5 Help them decide on where to give. Regular church attendance makes it easy to teach your children to tithe or give. But what about those who don’t go to church? Find a charitable organization for children (ie: St Jude’s Children Research Hospital) and help them send their donations regularly. Remember out of sight, out of mind. If the money just keeps piling up in the jar marked for giving, the child will be tempted to ‘borrow’ or use it.
#6 Teach them to save for what they want. We love to give our children gifts but those they earn are valued more highly. Even if you make them save only half the amount of high priced items they desire, they will learn valuable lessons in patience and perseverance and will appreciate how hard YOU work for the things you buy.
#7 Make them work for their money. Many parents cringe at this but a child with chores appreciates their earnings much more than those to whom money is merely doled out.
#8 Open your teen a checking and savings account, especially if he or she has a job. Have them bring home their un-cashed check then sit down and guide them on disbursing it according to the plan outlined above (savings, giving, spending).
#9 Show them the importance of balancing a check book and budgeting. With the ease of online banking, many young adults have no clue on how to balance a check book and this causes more harm than one might imagine. Help your child set up a budget for his or her income so that when they are out on their own, they’ll be more mindful of good money management.
#10 Teach them temperance and moderation in all things especially money. If a child is taught from an early age to develop good spending and saving habits these will follow him or her into adulthood.
Money is not something to be feared or idolized. It is a tool to be used in exchange for services or goods and our children should be taught the skills they need to manage money wisely.
Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She has over twenty years experience in bookkeeping, insurance and tax preparation. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!” ™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.”
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