Teaching children how to save is an important step in preparing them for financial responsibility and a secure future. In honor of Financial Literacy Month and Teach Children to Save Day, April 24, we encourage you to make teaching children the value of saving a priority in your home.
Here are a few ways you can pass along your financial savvy to your children every day:
- Set the example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscientious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.
- Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions, and be prepared to answer them.
- Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value of saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so.
- Open a savings account for your children and take them with you to the bank to make deposits, so they can learn how to be hands-on in their money management.
- Let them make mistakes. As they get older, give them responsibility over how they manage their money. When they make a mistake, use it as a teachable moment to discuss the right way to handle money.
The following online resources and activities are great tools for getting your children to start thinking and talking about money and saving:
- Life naturally presents many real-world opportunities to talk to your kids about money. Visit The Mint.org’s Parenting Guide for tips for taking advantage of these opportunities by age group.
- Follow the American Bankers Association’s Road to Financial Responsibility.
- Encourage your child to play some of these fun and educational online games geared toward financial literacy:
- DoughMain offers three games geared towards different age groups:
- Mindblown Life provides real-life financial knowledge while you build a lifestyle from the ground up.
- It’s My Life, by PBS Kids, gives children an opportunity to learn savings skills, while also using their brains to make tough money management decisions.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s Peanuts and Crackerjacks and Show Business are interactive games that incorporate sports and entertainment trivia with economics education.
- Next time your child receives a monetary gift, visit TheMint.org’s Cash Calculator to help them decide what portion of their money will be spent, saved, invested or given to charity.
- Have a teenager who will be heading off to college or work after school? Review and discuss Smart About Money’s 40 Financial Tips Every College Student Should Know to help prepare them for budgeting for food and housing expenses, building credit and paying for school.