Saving is a habit, and like any other habit, it takes practice to develop. Writing out savings goals with a timeline and keeping them somewhere visible is a great way to keep them at the front of your child’s mind. It also makes it easy to refer back to them and to track progress.
Start a Conversation
- What are some things you’d like to save money for?
- What are some big expenses you might have in the next six months? The next year? The next five years?
- Why is it important to save money?
Do an Activity
For older children and teens:
- Help your child open a savings account. Take them with you to the credit union so they can deposit their money into their very own account. If they manage their money well, you can consider adding a checking account.
- Set a family goal, such as a new family TV or a family summer trip. Talk about different saving strategies, and then look at ways your family can save up for that goal by making small changes to your budget. Consider opening a dedicated savings account to keep this money separate from other savings.
For younger children:
- Using WECU’s piggy banks or your own, set up Saving and Spending piggy banks for your child. Every time they get money, talk with them about whether they want to spend their money soon or save it up for a more expensive want. Let them put the money in the corresponding piggy bank.
The habit of saving is what takes someone from just getting by to thriving. It can be hard. You might feel like the second you’ve saved anything at all, an emergency happens, it all goes out the window, and you’re back to square one. But if you can build the habit of continually trying to save, you will get somewhere. And if your child can do the same, they will get even further.
It’s completely normal to find talking about money intimidating or uncomfortable, but you don’t need to know all the answers to start your child off on the right foot. Simple conversations lay the groundwork for open communication and lifelong learning.