Teaching our children to save money, is certainly not an easy task. In fact, it is one that sometimes requires careful planning and a whole lot of repetitive discussing. Children don’t come programmed understanding finances and budgets. In fact, they come programmed with a “I want that” attitude. Completely normal. But how do you break your child of their I want that attitude, and work on teaching them to save money? It isn’t as hard as you think.
It entails several different steps or processes and it means keeping at them consistently. Children learn by watching and also by doing. Having them be at least semi-involved in the budget, and allowing them to see how expensive things are and how costly bills can be, is a big eye opener. My son, age twelve, got the opportunity to check out our gas bill one month. He was always complaining about being cold, and we would encourage him to put socks on and layers. He refused and just generally complained about it a lot. So I showed we turned the heat up and when the bill came in, we showed him. He was very surprised first of all, by the high cost of the bill, but what was even cooler to watch, was how easy it was to get him to wear socks and layers from then on.
He was happy that we turned to heat way down and when he heard any of the other children complain, he simply reminded them about how expensive the gas bill is, and that you can stay warm by wearing socks, shoes, sweaters and layers.
He also made it a habit to notice the changes in other bills to. He took pride in learning ways to cut down energy costs and the child is only twelve!
This can happen as early on as five years old. You can begin to talk to your child about finances and money. I think as parents, we sometimes shelter our children, but that isn’t a good idea. It’s important for them to see how life really is. Even when financially it’s less than pleasant.
Starting today, I am going to provide you with a series of articles to help your children learn to save money. Have a great weekend!