Practicing good money habits for kids

When it comes to learning concepts like saving, visuals and physical interaction are important, especially for young children. Here are a few ideas to teach your children to save money at any age.

1 Use Different Envelopes/Jars

You may be familiar with the envelope budgeting system for your own money, but this can also work for children. On either envelopes or jars, have your child draw pictures of what he or she wants. You may also want to help your child understand that some items will take longer than others to save for.
For example, the short-term savings container might have a picture of a specific toy, while the long-term container might have a picture of a trip to Disneyland. Teach your child to set aside money for short-term and long-term goals, and have another container or envelope for spending on everyday items.

2 Make a Savings Goal Chart

Once you know what your child wants to save for, figure out how many weeks it will take and make a chart. You can represent each week with a box and your child can put a sticker in that box once the money from that week’s allowance is set aside. This way, they could see themselves getting closer and closer to their goal.


3 Offer Rewards for Saving Money

Consider rewarding your child for saving his or her money. For example, if your child doesn’t spend any money for a certain amount of time, provide a small reward or treat. You can also make the prizes better the longer your child saves. Try stickers, an extra 1/2 hour of video games, toys, or whatever motivates your child.

4 Set a Good Example

One of the best things you can do is let your child see that you save money too. Put money in a jar while your child is watching and tell him or her it’s your savings jar. This will show your child that saving is “normal.” Plus, since most young children want to be like their parents, seeing you do it will provide them with money lessons that further inspire them to save.

5 Match Your Child’s Contributions

A “savings match” can be a great way to encourage your child to save extra money. While you can have a standard amount that they are required to set aside from their allowance, if they choose to save more, you can match it.