Saving money is difficult in this day and age, especially with economies all over the world failing, and especially with a lot of people scrambling to get money that they should have saved years and years ago if only they had been more proactive. If you are regretting not being able to save much earlier, now is not too late. First, you can start setting money aside so that you can get more money to spend in the future. And second, you can teach your own kids to save so that they do not end up in any financial messes from which they cannot recover.
Saving money may not be an obligation for your kids, however, and it can therefore be difficult for them to get any work done if they do not feel that spending and saving are relevant to them. In fact, many kids are supported by their parents until they reach high school or college, and their conception of the value of money, not to mention the value of hard work, can be twisted, if not immature.
Moreover, with mass media structured the way it is, you need to contend with the social need to spend, spend, and spend on luxury, novelty items, or to simply meet trends. How do you bump up against this kind of mentality and save your kids from the poorhouse?
Here are a few tips that you could follow when you start thinking of how your kids should save.
– Set a good example. It can be difficult for your kids to simply save when they see you spending money at every chance that you get. Instead of going to the mall to get the latest DVD player or flat screen TV, take your kids to the park on Sundays and have a nice family lunch. Instead of going to a fancy restaurant routinely, go only on special occasions and teach your kids to budget their money.
– Save visibly. Have a jar set out where you can drop pennies and other spare change so that your children can see it eventually fill up. This way, they can set up their own jars too. Have a contest and turn it into a race: see who can fill up their jars the fastest and you can give more money to the best saver!
– Encourage your children to work over the summer. It can be hard to correlate work with earning money, and you can start your children early with this kind of life lesson. Start out small: give them small change for helping out with some chores, such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves up, or cleaning the upstairs bedroom. Encourage your kids to get together with their friends and put up a service, such as babysitting or house cleaning. Build on these lessons until your children rely on their own resources for money and job hunting.
– Have a savings account exclusively in your children’s names, but do not hand them credit cards! They need to have their own means to save and monitor their savings and spending, but do not provide them with the illusion that money is easy to spend, and all that they need is a piece of plastic.
– Have a Threshold Award. If your child reaches a certain point in his or her savings, offer to add to a certain amount of money to his or her account as a reward.