How to encourage children to save
Wanting things now
Children love to get things ‘now, immediatelty right this very moment. In fact many a ‘toddler tantrum’ or ‘teenage strop’ is actually frustration at not getting what is wanted straight away. Learning to patiently wait for things we want is something that comes to most of us with maturity. Huge credit card debts for many would suggest many adults struggle with saving up and waiting for things they want too.
Our culture is very fast paced. If we want to eat we can make something in five minutes in the microwave. If we want new clothes we can order them on the internet and they an arrive next day. Want to watch something on TV? No matter what time of day or night you can probably access it in a n instant. We are used to our needs being met straight away. Waiting patiently for something is no longer how we live.
Photo Credit: Gracie and Viv
Worth the effort
In my childhood we would spend all morning scrubbing potatoes, shelling peas and making a pie with my grandma in order to make lunch. Hours of work for a simple meal. We so appreciated that meal we had waited for and worked for though much more so than a quick take out from McDonalds. My grandma’s generation new how to ‘wait’. They also knew how to save up for what they wanted . My grandad paid off his house through saving hard and was so very proud.
Recently my son decided he wanted a stamp album. He saved his pocket for 5 weeks to buy his first album and I have never seem him so delighted to receive post the day that arrived. The waiting and saving though tough had built his anticipation and excitement and his appreciation was huge. Hopefully this has taught him a good lesson. You can get what you want with effort and it is worth the wait.
Top tips for raising a saver!
- Telling children the psychology of delaying gratification is not going to work. Kids need experiences and they need visuals in order to ‘get’ what you are trying to tell them. You will need to be proactive.
- Fill a huge penny jar with all your coins and put them in charge of it. When it’s full they can choose a family treat.
- Draw a savings chart for them ( a bit like a height chart and put a new mark each time they put some money in the bank (it doesn’t matter at all if its just 10p a time)
- Give them more pocket money on condition that 1/3 go straight into their savings
- Encourage them to have a savings goal e.g top earn half towards the new DS they want. Perhaps you could make a commitment towards supporting that goal (e.g if they reach half way you will pay for the rest ?)
- Lead by example. Have a piggy bank of your own and let your children see you go to the bank to put money IN not just take it out.
- Make saving a topic of conversation and talk about it with purpose and enthusiasm..e.g saving up for a holiday, saving for your wedding or first driving lesson. Give it an edge of excitement!
- Make sure they have their own saving account and that they understand how it works.
- Talk to them about any saving you have in place for their futures such a child trust funds or a Sippdeal Junior Isa’s and help them understand what these could be used for in the future. Talk to them too about your own savings plans for the future and how SIPP pension opportunities are the kinds of areas you need to think about. Kids love it when they ‘share’ experiences with you and saving for the future together can be one of them
- Give regular pocket money, a journal to write down goals , a little calculator, Children need the tools to practice saving. Handling money from a n early age being s lots of opportunities for financial eduction.
Look to the furture
So go for it. I truly believe as we look after our children’s health, their social and educational development , their nutritional needs and their day to day care need so too we should help them learn to manage money well. It’s intrinsic to them having a happy healthy future.
Debts ruin lives. Let’s raise kids who know how to manage money and know how to save.
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