There are many opportunities, big and small, to involve your children in everyday plans to save. This could be as simple as saving for a small gift, or as big as saving for a family vacation.
- To involve the entire family in the savings effort, pick an item or activity that will involve your children. They will be more interested in helping to save if they will be a part of the end result, as opposed to saving for household bills.
- Set a savings goal. Get every member of your family involved and figure out how much the item or activity will cost and what actions are necessary to achieve the goal.
- Post your savings plan in a visible area in your home so everyone in the family can track progress toward the shared goal.
You can teach your children to save money through making wise spending choices (like using coupons) and through ways they can earn money (like doing chores at home).
It's important to allow your children to make their own financial decisions, too. A great opportunity to start using this technique is when your child may start asking for a new toy. Talk about how important this item is compared to the child's or family's savings goals.
Needs vs. Wants
We often notice children say they "need" something when they really just "want" it. You can teach them the difference between "needs" and "wants" as well as budgeting and making spending decisions by involving them in everyday tasks that require choices. For example, taking your children with you to the grocery store. Use different products, brands and food to explain needs vs. wants—like the "need" for milk (for strong bones) compared to the "want" for soda.
Your children can also learn about banking by going with you to the bank. You can ask the branch staff to explain more about the transaction you are making for your son or daughter's benefit.