Teach Your Child To Save Day
Teach Your Child to Save Day is April 24th! Teaching kids to start saving early in life helps them establish good, lifelong financial habits. Much like brushing their teeth, children who learn to save now will learn the routine and benefits of making it a part of their lives. Here are a few ways to get your kids’ attention when it comes to learning about saving money.
Make it Fun
Kids love technology, and there are many free savings education tools and games available to them online. Visit the Heritage Education Funds Games Page, where children of all ages can have fun learning about financial management. Sign up for a free account with Rich Kid Smart Kid and visit their “Pay Yourself First” section for simple game ideas to teach kids basic savings strategies. Play a savings goal game at PBS Kids to boost financial literacy, or try one of the free online Canadian savings games available at Practical Money Skills.
Make Savings Visual
Children under the age of eight often learn best using visual and physical teaching tools. Teach your child to save for something special with a brightly coloured savings chart to track how their savings grow. Or set up an envelope or jar system to teach older children the basics of budgeting and saving.
Have your child draw a picture of a few short-term and long-term savings goals, such as a new toy, a special pizza dinner, or a book. Label each jar or envelope with a picture. Explain that your child should save their allowance and/or gift money until they have enough to buy the item in the picture. Use a piggy bank for preschool children to learn that money has a special place to go.
Encourage and Reward Saving Money
A young child saving for something special can get discouraged early on if they aren’t seeing much progress towards their goal. Help them reach their goal faster by rewarding savings behaviour.
You should also give them opportunities to earn extra money around the home through regular chores or special projects, such as raking leaves, clearing out a basement room or garage, or weeding a flower bed.
Finally, reward your child’s commitment to saving by matching the money they’ve saved when they reach an agreed-upon amount. This will help them reach their goal faster. For example, once they reach $20 in savings, you’ll add another $20 to help them pay for their new baseball bat.
Model Savings Behaviour
As a parent, you likely already know that your child watches everything you do. It isn’t enough to just say “save your money.” Show your child how to save by doing it yourself in a way they can see and understand.
Choose a family savings goal like a special weekend getaway or outing. Paste a picture of the goal in a visible part of your home, such as on your fridge. Beside the picture, paste a savings chart to track your progress.
Remind your family members that saving money means making choices about where that money goes. When your kids beg to add treats to your shopping cart that just aren’t on your grocery list, explain that buying them means you’ll have less money to put towards your family savings goal. Having a fun, family goal is a great way to model both saving money and patience!
Talk About Money With Your Kids!
Don’t be afraid to discuss savings with your children. Look for opportunities to improve your child’s financial literacy and teach them about the benefits of saving for long-term goals instead of simply borrowing money. For example, saving for your child’s post-secondary education is a great way to show your children the benefits of committing to a long-term savings plan.
Always remember, financial literacy starts at home. Make today “Teach Your Child To Save” day, and help your children invest in themselves.
Heritage Education Funds continues to champion saving towards your child’s post-secondary education. Visit their website to find out more about how they can help you set up an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan) today!