If the heading of this post caught your attention and you are reading this post chances are you love your kids a lot and want a bright future for them, I’m a father of one beautiful 2 year old, she’s just a joy to be around and I want to give her everything she will need but I also try not to spoil her though.
It is said that financial literacy is not taught in schools and I am sure most us were not taught the importance and how to save by our parents so why not correct that error in this next generation and what better time to start if not while they are still very young. Saving money is very important if you wish to enjoy financial freedom in future, as parents it is our responsibility to imbibe good traits in our children, a trait like having a good savings habit, traits that will help them in life even when we are no longer around.
Here are a few ways we can teach children to have a good savings culture
Lead by example
Children are very impressionable and start to imitate what they see adults around them do from the tender age of one. Good and bad habits can be acquired by children this way that is why it is important that they are only exposed to the good habits. children do a lot of copy and paste. What this means is they do what we as parents do. When it’s time for family prayers in the morning my 2-year-old daughter always tries to lead by Shouting “in Jesus name” it’s really a funny sight when she does this, she’s only imitating what she sees us as the parents do. To get your child to save money they have to see you saving money as well.
Encourage them to save
We as parents should make the act of savings fun for our children rather than a form of deprivation of their money. (Do you remember when we were kids and got money as gifts from our uncles and aunts in which our parents told us they would keep for us, whatever happened to all that money?) we should let them know the Little rain drops they are stashing away belongs to them and will come back as a mighty ocean. We should celebrate them everytime they are able to save out of the money that is given to them by uncles, aunts or your friends. A simple well done, clap or a treat in form of a snack goes a long way in encouraging and making our kids feel good about putting aside some money. As we continue to encourage them and as they continue to save, a good habit is already forming.
Buy a piggy bank
Now that you have encouraged your toddler to save its time get them excited about it and buy a piggy bank for your little one. (it helps to present the piggy bank to your kid while talking about saving money). Since we are talking about piggy banks for kids you know it has to be one that is colourful and attractive so that your kid is encouraged to make use of it as often as possible. Encourage your kids to fill up the piggy bank. The piggy bank could depict their favourite cartoon character or your child’s favourite pet. Find out your kid’s favourite characters and buy in accordance with that. Also, you will need to get a piggy bank for yourself as well, I stated earlier that kids copy and paste so your kids have to see you save as well.
Open a Child’s savings account
You will need to open a kiddies savings account for your child. Once the piggy bank is full and all the funds have been retrieved you should take your child along with you to the bank. Let him or her see how much money he or she has been able to put away over time and let your child know the money will be saved in the bank in his or her own name. By doing this you are already imbibing a good savings culture in your child as they now know that money saved over time will continuously grow and can even attract interest when kept in the bank which further grows their money.
Another way to encourage your kids to have a savings culture is through project savings. Here I will give an illustration for better understanding. Timi is 5 years old, he wants a new toy car, he saw the advert on TV and the car costs N10,000. Timi approaches his dad with his request and tells him the cost. Timi’s dad sees this as an opportunity to teach him to save money, he promises to come up with N9,000 if only he can save N1,000. It takes Timi 2 weeks to save his share through cash gifts from relatives and family friends during visits. Tim’s dad is impressed with his son and in turn, fulfils his promise.
From the illustration we can see that Timi became enthusiastic about saving money that would ordinarily have been spent, his dad was able to make him save towards a short-term goal thereby opening a whole new world to his son, an act if nurtured would lead to a having a good savings culture.
NOTE This act can be done once in a while to encourage savings not all the time as your minor is not responsible for their own upkeep and entertainment.
I am a guest writer at Tessy’s Onyia’s blog. My name is Ajayi Oluwaseun, I am a husband, father, banker and blogger. For more posts on financial literacy, click the link below to my blog site www.seunajaisblog.com