5 easy tricks to teach your kids lessons about money and spending 2 years ago

5 easy tricks to teach your kids lessons about money and spending

Raising children is no cheap job (as if we didn't know?!).

And never mind the nappies-and-wipes expenses of the first couple of years, it doesn't get any cheaper once they are potty trained either, unfortunately.

With essentials like a roof over their little heads and dinner on the table, once they get to an age where they will start wishing and wanting for everything from toys to cool trainers, chances are many of us will start feeling like human ATMs.

The thing is, helping your children develop healthy attitudes when it comes to money and teaching them how to save will not only help them actually save for the things they wish for themselves, it will also – hopefully – set them up with some healthy financial habits for life.

In fact, research has revealed that children develop attitudes towards money at a young age, most commonly before even reaching the age of seven, and that they are likely to imitate the financial behaviours of parents and other family members. This means, of course, that is is so important to start building good money-habits as early as possible.

Here are five simple steps to get them saving:

1. Lead by example

One of the most important things you can do to teach your children about the value of money and the importance of saving, is to (like with most things) lead by example. Let them see you work out budgets and hear you talk about things you need to save for. Put coins into a jar and tell them this is your savings jar, and keep talking to them about mum and dad having to work to make money and that we all have to save for things we want to do or buy.

2. Make saving fun

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It's amazing how far a little creativity and visualisation goes towards making saving seem more fun to kids. For instance, you can use different jars for saving for different things, and have your child draw pictures you can stick on of what he or she is saving for. This will also teach your child that some thing might take longer to save for that other things, and how they might need to prioritise one thing over another for a while.

For instance, this might work in that the short-term jar has a picture of a toy they really want right now on it, while the long-term jar has an image of Disney world or a beach on it, something they really want to do, but that the whole family needs to save for.

3. Open a children's savings account

Opening a savings account is a good way of encouraging your child to save regularly, and helps them to develop a good habit
when it comes to savings for life.

4. Make a savings chart

This will not only be another incentive to keep up the saving (kids love charts!), but will also teach your children to plan ahead and see how long they need to save for something before they get to buy it/do it. A chart will also be a nice visual way of letting your kids see how much closer they are getting to their goal as the weeks go by.

Use a picture of what they are saving for, stickers, markers, whatever you want, really, to make them get excited about saving and seeing their savings grow.

5. Let them handle money from an early age

Establishing a good relationship with and understanding of money should ideally start early. Role-play games like playing shops or restaurants where children get to use "pretend" money to pay for things are great when it comes to understanding how money works, and board games like Monopoly will also get your kids use to budgeting and "buying" things.

Another way to get your children involved when it comes to money is to take them with you when you go shopping and let them have a few Euros so they can make the decisions on what to buy. Help them compare prices so they come back with as much change as possible, and reward them by allowing them to put the change into their savings jar.