As a parent, you want your kids to learn all of the things they need to succeed in life. You make sure they do their homework, exercise and spend quality time with friends and family. But, one of the most important life lessons you can teach them is how to save money. Here are three tips to help your kids down the path to financial security:
Lead by example
- Explain how you save money for future needs: vacations, retirement, emergencies.
Reward savings with a match
- When your kids get money as a gift or for doing extra chores and then deposit a portion of it in their credit union savings account, match all or a percentage of that amount. For example, if your son receives $50 as a birthday gift and puts $20 in his savings account, you could add $10 or $20 as a bonus and incentive to save more in the future.
Save as a family for a goal
- Let’s say you are planning a trip to Disney World. As a family, determine how much you will need for this vacation. Have your kids decorate a box or a jar with pictures of the Magic Kingdom and the total amount you will need to save. Then each week, everyone contributes to the fund by putting money in the container – even small change can add up. Have the kids draw a thermometer to show your progress towards the goal; each time you make a deposit, mark it accordingly. The key is to show the benefits of regular contributions. When the container is full, count the money together, and then deposit it into a specially designated savings fund at the credit union.