Getting your kids to save money can seem like a challenging proposition. Let's face it: kids are being brought up in a very materialistic, "keeping up with the Joneses" type of society. They see all kinds of cool toys and gadgets on TV, and they think they have to have them too. The unfortunate fact is that most kids are not being taught how to save that all. For this reason, it's going to be completely up to the parents to teach their kids how to save for the future and why it's so important.
When a child receives money for their birthday or by way of allowance, get them into the habit of taking a certain portion of that to save. Explain to them that the money is off limits and will be put into a savings account or piggy bank.
If a child wants to purchase something on the expensive side, help them set a goal of how much money they need to earn in order to buy the item. Maybe they can cut out a picture or even draw one that they can hang on the wall to remind them of what they're working towards.
When your child wants to spend their money on something, have an open and honest talk with them about whether or not the item is really worth the money. For instance, if a child gets $50 from their grandparents for Christmas and wants to immediately spend it, work with them on deciding whether or not the item they want to purchase is worth the investment.
As a child gets older, it might be worth it to sit down with them and show them how money grows using compound interest. Kids are often amazed to see how much money grows over time if you just leave it alone!
Some parents opt to match their child's savings as a way of keeping them motivated. Similar to how an employer will match a 401(k) contribution, offer to match a child's savings dollars for dollar. This is a great way to work with a teenager who wants to buy a car!
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