Teaching Kids How to Save Money

Various learning-based activities that encourage the development of essential skills should be provided to toddlers and preschoolers prior to formal schooling and often serve as a good starting point in their lives. We often explore such abilities at our early learning in Carlton, however; it is important that parents also introduce the basics to their children at home so they are prepared for the life ahead of them. Interaction and association with family members and friends promote social skills and self-expression. Reading and telling stories to kids, roleplaying and guided TV viewing develop early academics, and engaging in daily physical activity help in the development of fine motor skills. All of these are experiences that nurture the development of children from birth to age 5 and promote physical, mental and emotional health.

Opportunities to teach life skills come in many ways and situations that arise which may serve as springboards for parents to explain life skills based on certain situations. For instance, if a toddler refuses to lend his or her toy to a sibling then it can be a great opportunity to discuss the value of sharing. Instilling the different values that parents want to develop in their kids is a great responsibility and these virtues and good behaviours will serve as the foundation of the total quality of the child’s behavior, which will be revealed in their habits, thoughts, expressions, attitudes, interests, actions and their personal philosophy in life.

Teaching a preschooler the value and concepts of saving money is a life skill that will help the child manage their finances well in adult life. This is introduced in a light and enjoyable manner at a childcare at Carlton, such as The Little Cottage. Training them to save money is not done overnight. It takes a lot of time, effort and patience to let them understand why there is a need to save money even if some children are aware of a privileged environment with parents who can afford the needs and wants of their kids.

These points may be useful in teaching your kids how to save money

  1. Exercise gentle restraint when shopping with your kids.

    Tell your child that only a given amount is allotted to one toy and that the desire to add another toy is not included in the budget. The parent may explain the term ‘budget’ to the kids as the word covers those things that were planned to be bought for a certain amount. Impulse buying should not be tolerated. This will also prevent some tantrums in the mall when the child is fully aware of the planned expenses of the family.
  1. Teach the kids the difference between needs and wants.

    Surely, toys are needed to reinforce the child’s growing confidence in their new activities during playtime, but buying more than what is needed at a time is not penny-wise. It’s okay to desire and work hard to achieve some lovely things in life but being materialistic is, of course, a different story. To promote saving at home, start preparing colourful savings jars with attractive embellishments so your kids will be excited to save their coins and seeing the jar getting full. You can even ask your kids to design their savings jars.
  1. Help your children understand the necessities.

    Just because a toy plane advertised on TV is exciting and the child goes on a tantrum to own one, it may not be a reasonable expense as there many be family needs that will be put down for this one desire such as medical needs or household bills. This has to be carefully explained to the child. This is a great opportunity for a child to learn how to spend money wisely. Parents and teachers in a preschool at Carlton can incorporate the value of it as a moral lesson through a fairy tale or a lighthearted children’s story.
  1. Help your children manage their belongings.

    Parents should be consistent in explaining the proper way of taking care of personal belongings to their kids. Things that are carefully used and put in their proper places tend to last longer, hence, unnecessary purchases are avoided and savings are made.
  1. Introduce a piggy bank to your children.

    A piggy bank is a very helpful tool to encourage children to save. When a child earns cash as a gift or a reward for a good deed or accomplishment, let the child put it in a piggy bank. The process of filling the piggy motivates them so that when the piggy bank is finally full, it’s ready to be spent for a toy or school supplies, a part of it to be given to charity or simply brought to the bank for a kiddie savings account. You can use a Thermometer Goal Chart too so your children can monitor how the amount that they save increases over time. Many fun-themed goal charts are also available online.
  1. Use real examples of great money savers & spenders!

    Read or tell the kids success stories of men and women who made successful investments because they started the art of saving at an early age. If they wanted an expensive toy, persuade them to save for it and remind them of a success stories you’ve told before or quote a successful figure.
  1. Be consistent with your teaching.

    Kids learn well by repetition, so parents should never get tired of being there;  reminding, repeating things about saving money and molding them to become better persons with tender loving care.

Before embarking on a long process of teaching your kids the value of saving, it is important that they should be given a thorough understanding of the importance of money to an individual, family and society. This should be introduced well at home and is also taught in a kindergarten at Carlton. Lessons on how money is acquired and the work and endeavor invested in order to set the reward in the form of money should be introduced. Understanding how money provides good food, nice homes and surroundings, and a comfortable life will help them grasp the idea of the importance of money. Also, kids must be taught that the lack of money results in lack of food and bare necessities — situations which parents can also use in teaching the value of hard work. Of course, all of these should be introduced in such gentle way that will help the kids learn and accept some facts of life without being upset and scared.

Ensure that you give your money-saving training in a fun and age-appropriate way. In the long run, this teaches them to be goal-driven, to practise patience, to be focused and to work hard towards their goals. Learn to say ‘No’ — even if we want to give all the luxuries in life to our babies.

Teach your little ones how to become money-savers; then they will become wiser! 🙂

Loved this article? Read about the Benefits of playing outside by our childcare centre in Miranda!

Images Courtesy of:

Gaertringen / 225 images via Pixabay under the Creative Commons CC0 licence.

nattanan23 / 34 images via Pixabay under the Creative Commons CC0 licence.

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