Since I frantically pack for a quick trip out of town and haven’t written my post for tomorrow, I thought I would share some short tips that were requested of me for an article. Short tips for “passing on saving techniques to our children or helping kids learn the value of savings” was a bit of a challenge to give in “tip form.” Each of these necessitate a post of their own, and for each tip, I have a personal story to go with it, but they will have to wait.
Teaching our kids about money is critical, and here are just a few of my thoughts.
1. As soon as children are old enough to ask for something in the store, begin teaching them the value of a dollar. As we become more of a cashless society, children need to understand the implications associated with the money cards they watch their parents using every day. Ideally, use cash when the children shop with you, so they concretely comprehend the direct correlation between purchases and dollars.
2. Beginning at an early age, help assist your children in understanding the difference between a “want” and a “need.” As parents help identify the stark contrast, children will begin to differentiate the importance of developing a system of savings, spending and giving.
3. As the Christmas shopping season approaches, offer to give your children some money to buy presents for their siblings. The only caveat is that once they decide on their purchase, the children must check two other stores before buying their chosen gift. This teaches them to resist impulse buying, while learning the strategies of comparison shopping.
4. Learning the skill of negotiation creates a significant amount of saving in our budget each year. In order to pass on this skill to our children, I bring them yard sale-ing with me as early as three or four years old. Each week, I give them a few dollars to spend as they please, but they must purchase and do all the bargaining themselves with the seller. They have learned to be “politely charming, and not cheap,” which ends up being a win-win for all involved.
5. When my husband recently went through a year of unemployment, no conversation was deemed off limits. Transparent financial conversations or “money talks” occurred around our dinner table on a regular basis. I am thankful this was a step we implemented years earlier, so that when the difficult times came, our children were prepared and understood all that was happening around them.
Now if instilling those tips in the hearts of our children was done as quickly as I wrote them, we’d all be making millions from our “How to” books. Patience, consistency and love, modeled in the areas of stewardship over the course of a lifetime, is what really will teach our children the value of savings.
What “home spun quick tip” wisdom would you add to this article? (Limiting to a sentence or two is much harder than it looks, especially when one is “wordy” like me. :))