BMI Federal Credit Union
Teaching Your Children to Be Savers
Building Good Habits
In today’s environment, where advertisements and commercials encourage you to buy, buy, buy and emphasis is placed on having the newest, shiniest gadget, it can be hard to encourage good saving habits in your children. But with a few helpful tips, you can turn your child from a spender to a saver in no time.
- Help your child develop a savings goal. Does your child seem to get money one day and use it all completely by the next? If you’re worried about this becoming a bad habit, help them come up with a goal. Do they want a new bike? The hottest new video game? Maybe a trip to the amusement park with their friends? Talk to your child and see if there’s something they’re really passionate about, then encourage them to start saving money for that goal. Whenever they try to use all their money at one time, gently remind them of their goal and that if they spend all their money now they’re further away from getting the big prize. This can teach your children to look at the big picture, and build good saving habits for life.
- Make a game out of it. Instead of making saving money into a tedious educational lesson, try to make it fun. Your children will respond better and be more apt to get involved. Get a special prize box and tell your child that every time they set a savings milestone, they get to pick a prize from the box. This will encourage your child to save them, and show them that good things happen when you save your money.
- Open a savings account for your child. Opening a savings account for your child, such as a Youth Savings Account from BMI FCU, is a great way to teach them about the value of money. Explain to them what interest is and how the more they save the more they earn. You can also deposit money into their account as a reward or on holidays or birthdays.
- Don’t be afraid to let your child make mistakes. It’s hard to watch your child suffer through a mistake, but it can also be one of the best ways to help them learn. They couldn’t go to the movies with their friends or buy that special toy because they spent all their money at the mall? While your child may be upset in the moment, it will teach them not to spend all their money at once, and show them the importance of saving. Plus, it’s better to let your children make mistakes with small amounts instead of larger amounts as they get older.
- Lead by example. You can talk about the importance of saving until you’re blue in the face, but if you’re not practicing what you’re preaching, it will be difficult for your child to take what you’re saying seriously. Let your child see you saving money and not spending it on impulse purchases. You’re the biggest role model in your child’s life, and if you’re leading with a good example, they will follow.
Set your child up for financial success by teaching them good saving habits early. Start now, and they’ll be experts in no time. Keep your eye out for more youth-centered posts during National Credit Union Youth Month!