A guest post by All Saints School in Perth, Australia.
Wherever you live and whatever you do, money is a part of your life, and the sooner we can help children to understand the importance of money, or rather the saving of it, the better. As with all good practices, the earlier you start, the easier it will be for a child to grasp the value of putting a little bit aside for a rainy day, and with that in mind, here are some creative ideas to help your child understand the value of saving.
1. Start with a Piggy Bank – The first strategy for saving should involve a piggy bank, and rather than opting for one that has a “money hole”, the traditional ceramic piggy bank is the best solution. Slowly, over a period of time, the coins will gradually fill the piggy bank until it is time to break it open and count the contents. This activity is ideal for a 3-4 year old, and whenever the grandparents or other family members gives the child some cash, they can get into the habit of saving it. Saving money is a critical skill – the earlier one starts the better.
2. Open a Bank Account – Once the piggy bank is full, the natural progression is to open a bank account and deposit the piggy bank contents, then simply buy another piggy bank and continue the saving process. The sooner your child understands the value of money, and more importantly, why it is important to save, the sooner they will grasp the fact that finances are very important, regardless of age. Schools should teach money education in the classroom – our school does. If you are ever in Western Australia and are looking to learn more, we are happy to show you how we teach our students the value of saving.
3. Create a Timeline – This can really help a young mind to grasp the concept of putting a little aside on a regular basis, and as time goes by, the child will realize that time is a factor, and that even a little deposit on a daily basis adds up in the end. As an example, you might agree with your child to save $5 per week, and have them agree on a target figure, which might be $50, and this helps the youngster to understand goals and targets. You could create a wall chart, and it is always a good idea to have small incentives, which will keep the interest level high, and by helping the child to make records on the timeline, they will see their savings grow.
4. Lead by Example – Children do not really listen to what their parents tell them to do, but they do follow examples, so why not have your own piggy bank? Then your child can watch you save at the same time, and try to keep your weekly amounts low, otherwise the child might feel deflated.
The world of finance is something we all have to abide by, and the sooner you can introduce the topic of money, and particularly saving, the quicker they will fall into good habits. Have questions? Feel free to get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.