How to teach your children to save money

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With an increasing number of younger first-time buyers relying on the “Bank of Mum and Dad” to help fund their first home, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that we need to help our children learn how to save money from an early age.

Now we’re not talking about teaching them the ins and outs of the stock market or investing in FTSE100 companies, we’re talking about helping them the value of money and set some aside for a rainy day.

That’s why this month we’ve created a list of ways you can teach your children to save money.


Start from an early age

As soon as they’re able to start counting, introduce your little one to money and teach them what the different denominations are.

If you’re playing make-believe then incorporate these money lessons into their games. If you teach them how to look after their money through these games, they’ll remember these lessons when they grow up.


Learning through earning

It doesn’t have to be a large amount, but giving your children pocket money is another way to teach them how to save. Simply work out a reasonable amount that you’ll give them each week and ask for their help doing chores around the house to earn this money.

Not only does this help cut down your own workload, but it also teaches them how they have to earn in the future. They’ll soon understand that with hard work comes a reward.


Save, spend, save

One of the easiest ways to help your children learn the value of money is to let them save their pocket money, then spend it on something they want, then start the saving process again.

As adults, we understand that if we want something then we need to save up for it, but for children this isn’t a concept that they’re familiar with.

Once they get into the habit of saving, spending, saving they’ll then understand that if there’s an item they want, they need to have the money available to buy it.


Set up their own bank account

From an early age introduce them to the concept of saving by giving them a piggy bank. They will learn they may have to break into it to buy that something special. When at the right age, open a bank account for them so you can explain that putting your money into a bank is the same and take them into and show them the process.


Introduce online banking

As we move towards a cashless society, it’s important that your tech-savvy children become accustomed to online money. If you regularly use your online bank, show the kids how the whole process works.

This reinforces that even though the cash isn’t physically in their hands, it still exists. You’ll know that it’s all too easy to forget to check your bank account and just use your card, but you don’t want your children to see this as the norm.


Let them be in charge of (some) money

If you go on holiday and have to take cash with you for spending, then why not let your children take charge of some of the money whilst you’re away. Even if you just need to pop to the shops and get some more flip-flops, let your children pay.

This teaches them how to handle the cash and also how the process of buying works. It also means that they’re more likely to think about the cash that’s left over and whether they really need that extra beach ball (for example!).


As they get older

Regardless of whether the university tuition fees are rising, those looking to attend further education need to know how to budget away from home.

Impulse buying, expensive phone contracts, and shopping sprees can quickly drain their maintenance loan funds, so before they leave home make sure they’re equipped with hands-on experience.

Show your children how to properly compare the market for a better deal, teach them how to plan ahead for weekly shopping and encourage them to keep a tally of their spending.

We’ve previously written articles on student money saving, so why not take a look at part 1 here and part 2 here.


So there we have it, our top ways to help teach your children to save money. What do you think? Is this something that you’ve thought about with your little ones? Or do you wish that you’d learned about sooner?

We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please do let us know in the comment below. Alternatively, you can join in the discussion on Twitter here or on Facebook here.

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