It’s never too early to start saving money for the future, and instilling in children the importance of saving can begin at an early age. In fact, children may likely find the concept of saving money enjoyable if they can benefit by buying something they want or increasing their savings. You can teach children to save money in numerous ways, and you may even learn a few things along the way as well.
How to Teach Children to Save Money Easily
1. Be a Mentor.
Young children learn by watching. They often emulate what you do. Consider taking them to the credit union with you, for example, while explaining what you are doing and the importance of it in simple terms.
2. Get Them Their Own Piggy Bank.
Give children a piggy bank, and have them add coins or dollar bills into the bank until it’s full. Tell them that they’re saving for the future. When it is full, have them count the money with you. They may be thrilled about how much they’ve collected and hopefully be inspired to continue to save in order to watch their money grow.
Reward them by allowing them to spend half of it for something they really want. Place the second half back into the piggy bank, which may help them further gain money management skills and willpower. Have them fill it up again, and then …
3. Open a Credit Union Savings Account for Them
The first time, they were able to see and feel how much money they collected, which helped them relate to the concept of saving money. The second time, have them carry the full piggy bank into one of our credit union branches in order to deposit it into their own account. Show them the number on the receipt, and encourage them to add more into the account. Remind them how much they saved in the piggy bank, and tell them they can save much more this way and buy something even nicer.
If they are old enough, allow them to track how much their money is growing through our mobile app on your phone or their own mobile device.
You might want to allow them to take a small amount of the money to buy something this time too so that they continue to see all the benefits of saving.
4. Allow Them to Set Short-Term Goals
Not every money-saving strategy has to be grand; children may want to save money for something small as well. Have them drop coins or cash into a small container until they have enough money to buy that little treat they want. Make it fun by allowing them to decorate the container using arts and crafts supplies.
5. Create a Calendar
When you start out a money-saving project, calculate how much the child would need to save daily in order to buy what he or she wants or meet the savings goal. Draw a calendar together that allows him or her to cross off days as the end goal nears. Children who see an end in sight may be more likely to stay motivated to save.
Taking Advantage of the NCUA’s Learning Tools
The NCUA’s interactive learning tools provide a fun platform for teaching young people about the importance of saving and spending wisely. Two of these resources are “World of Cents” and “Hit the Road.”
- World of Cents: World of Cents is intended for children ages 5 to 10. This is an engaging, kid-friendly tool that may help teach children to save money while incorporating basic math concepts. Users choose a character, select one of three math and matching skills levels, and participate in a vibrant world full of whimsical playhouses.
- Hit the Road: Geared toward individuals ages 10 to 15, this fun and interactive platform teaches money management skills. While on a virtual road trip across the country, users must save and spend money wisely to complete challenges along the way.
Many additional resources are available through the NCUA’s website that may help you teach children the importance of saving. Visit its financial education page to learn more.
To open a savings account for your child, contact us through our Georgia Heritage Federal Credit Union website or step into one of our credit union branches to speak with a banking associate.