Happy Teach Children to Save Day!

by Anne Middleton, on April 24th, 2015
child parent piggy bank

Happy Teach Children To Save Day!  Admittedly, that doesn’t sound as exciting as “Happy Birthday!” or “Merry Christmas!”  But, April 24th is a profoundly important, though unsung, holiday. Established by the American Bankers Association, Teach Children To Save Day encourages moms and dads to instruct their progeny about the importance of putting funds aside for the future.

Getting the conversation about financial responsibility started actually isn’t as onerous as it seems. Most moppets love sticking dimes and nickels in their piggy banks. Age-appropriate coaching on saving today to spend later is a natural follow up to feeding the bank, especially if you pair it with a demonstration of putting a part of your own riches away.

But, putting money into a piggy bank or savings account is just the start of the lessons kids need in fiscal responsibility. They also need to understand how spending wisely leaves more funds available to be redirected towards savings. To drive these lessons home, lads and lasses need to see at least a scaled-down version of the household budget and engage in conversations about spending decisions.

Care for what you have: Even toddlers and preschoolers can learn to put away their toys and fold their clothes neatly. Team these activities with a tete-a-tete about how taking excellent care of belongings makes them last longer, meaning that they need to be replaced less often. For older offspring, teach them how doing laundry the correct way, polishing your nice Boston Proper pumps, and washing the car at regular intervals can save money over the long haul, since you won’t need to purchase replacements for these items as often.

Demonstrate DIY: It may be too complicated for the youngest tykes, but adolescents and teenagers can grasp how doing things yourself, rather than paying for services, can save money. Help them compare the cost of cooking at home to dining in a restaurant. Or, help them see how lacing up your Nikes and going for a run can be a better financial decision than paying for a monthly gym membership.

Buy quality when possible: As one of the hardest financial lessons, it’s crucial to start expounding on this lesson while kids are growing up. While sometimes the lowest-cost option is the most astute choice, often, higher quality items will last longer and preform better, paying for themselves over time. Explaining this notion to juveniles can be laborious, so try to exhibit the concept on items that appeal to them. For example, Converse and UGG shoes are higher quality than their doppelgangers. Help teens calculate how much the shoes cost per wear if they last one year compared to just six months.