Figuring out how to motivate your child to save money can be difficult.
Saving money is a lesson that needs to be emphasized and reinforced from the toddler years to the college years. Below are some helpful hints to teach your child to motivate your child to save money.
1. Lead by example.
Children watch what their parents do and often imitate it and this includes how to motivate your child to save money.
The best way to motivate your child to save money is to do it yourself. Create a budget, limit your debt, accumulate savings, and live within your means.
Show your child the difference between “wants” and “needs” and purchase your “needs” most often. Even when they are teenagers and pretend not to care about you do, they still do. Practicing what you preach is the simplest way to motivate your child to save money.
2. Play board games.
Though it’s “play” money, it gives them an idea about managing money and a way to motivate your child to save money. In particular, Monopoly allows the child to make choices about what properties he wants to buy or sell. As in real life, patience and thoughtful decisions regarding money are necessary in order to succeed and win the game.
3. Give your child an allowance.
What better way to motivate your child to save money than to give him his own money to manage. It can either be tied to performing chores around the house or just as a way to get money in his hands to learn the concepts of saving and spending.
4. Allow your child to make mistakes with money.
If your child wants to blow his allowance on something completely unnecessary that he will ultimately tire of and wish that he saved the money to buy something else, let it happen.
Remember, you want to get money in his hands so he can learn how to save and spend. His first money mistakes should occur long before adulthood and will help motivate your child to save money.
Early mistakes may motivate your child to save money later on, and these mistakes are not as catastrophic as those that can be made when he is a young adult. (Of course, if the mistake involves a car or a major expense, you should jump in and advise. The mistakes referenced here are small ones that build character.)
5. Let your child get a job.
As a teenager, there is nothing more gratifying than working and earning money. It teaches so many skills that are important in life, and it has the extra benefit of allowing the teen to make his own money.
Either he will make mistakes with the money he earns, or earning his own money will motivate your child to save money. Whichever path he takes will teach him good money management lessons that will last much longer than his paycheck or job does.
6. Motivate Your Child To Save Money by Teaching Saving, Spending, and Donating to charity.
It can begin as soon as she gets an allowance. You can give her three piggy banks and divide her money for saving, spending, or donating to charity.
By doing this, she knows what she has available to spend whereas the rest of the allowance is already earmarked for other purposes. (When enough money has accumulated, ask her to pick the charity where she wants the money to go.)
Making a game out of putting the money in the three piggy banks may motivate your child to save money.
Where should the saved money go?
This varies by age. In the preschool years, a piggy bank collects the savings. During elementary school, the child should have a savings account where he regularly deposits the money.
By high school, you can motivate your child to save money with a checking account because you want your child to learn money management skills while he is still under your watchful eye (and under your roof).
Before graduating from college, preferably in the final year of college, the young adult should open a credit card account. While this may seem like the worst time ever to give him a credit card, it is up to you to reinforce how the card should be used and motivate your child to save money at the same time.
Also, if you have been giving him money management lessons since he was a toddler, then he should be equipped and mature enough to use the credit card responsibly.
The other reality is that to start a job, he will incur expenses for clothes, an apartment, etc. so he will need to use a credit card for these necessities until he earns a paycheck and can pay off the credit card balance in full.
When you motivate your child to save money, you are also teaching him about spending since both go hand-in-hand.
Schools teach children history, foreign languages, and science, but rarely, if ever, do they provide a course on money management so unless you teach your child, he is going to learn on his own when he’s an adult.
Our society does not motivate your child to save money. Children’s television programs are loaded with commercials that are intended to get him interested in buying something. As a result, it is inevitable that he will want to save his money to buy a gadget or electronic so to help him with this, you could create a chart with a picture of a thermometer.
As his savings increase, you and he could color in the thermometer until it reaches the top when all of the money has been saved. While this is beneficial, it is also important to teach him to save just to save.
One way to motivate your child to save money is by matching his savings dollar for dollar. By doing this, you can put stipulations on how long the money must stay in the savings account. In a sense, you are investing in his ability to save and manage money.
Occasionally, television shows can help reinforce the message of managing money or even motivate your child to save money.
In a 1984 episode of The Cosby Show, Theo’s dad teaches him about the realities and expenses associated with living on his own using Monopoly money.
He explains the concepts of taxes, utility bills, food, and entertainment expenses as Theo continues to hand over his earnings from his “regular” salary.
Though the dollar figures are dated, the lessons are still real. Not only does it teach children the realities associated with living independently, but it also encourages them to pursue further education to be able to work in a professional position that can pay the bills and allow for a comfortable lifestyle.
Remember, in order to motivate your child to save money, you have to continue teaching and reinforcing the message that saving is good and necessary. It is not a lesson learned overnight. If you are able to motivate your child to save money and he learns how to do it on his own, it will benefit both of you when he is an adult.
When he isn’t finding new ways to save money, you can see Jeff participating in many sports around his area. Still, Jeff’s mind is always thinking of ways to save money through Auto Insurance and Credit Card Chaser as he devises other ways to motivate your child to save money.