Saving money is one of the most important aspects of building wealth and having a secure financial foundation. Yet many of us have learned the importance of saving money through trial and error, and more importantly, experience. In school, we aren’t really taught about the importance of saving and many of us find that as adults, we have to fend for ourselves. But there are ways to empower the next generation, and that starts by teaching children the importance of saving from a young age. If you are a parent, here are a few fun ways to teach your children about saving money.
Get them a piggy bank
A piggy bank can be a great way to teach your kids the importance of saving, while giving them an easy way to do it. Tell your kids that the goal is to fill up the piggy bank with dollars and coins, until there is no room. Illustrate that the piggy bank is for saving money for the future and that the more they save, the more their money will grow.
Play ‘spend and sell’
Set up a make believe store or restaurant at home. Give kids a certain amount of pretend money and create scenarios, like buy five items with your money or buy three meals at their favorite take-out place for less than Rs.200 (these do not have to be actual prices, you are just trying to have fun and teach something). By learning how transactions work in a safe environment, they’ll understand them better in the real world. When they get a little older you can have them pretend to sell items they make or bake.
Money based board games are a great way to go too
Board games like Monopoly can be a great way to introduce financial concepts and teach children how to balance spending and saving in a fun and interactive way. By seeing how much cash they have, kids will learn how to visualize money. You can also use pretend money to explain the family budget and how much is set aside each month to keep the household running smoothly and bellies full.
Give them a magic money jar
For younger kids, put a clear plastic or glass jar in their room and encourage them to put their coins in it. Then, every time a dollar or two in change has accrued in the container, secretly replace the coins with paper bills while they are away at school or otherwise out of the house. Magic! Your kids will learn how quickly small savings can add up to something tangible.