Savings goals are a great way for people of all ages to learn about putting money aside for later. By making a defined, measurable goal, you can work with your child to understand the work needed to save up for something they want, and then the sense of accomplishment once the goal is reached.
- Decide on a goal.
Sit down and discuss what they’d like to save for. Make sure that whatever you settle on is realistic and something your child will still be interested in a few weeks from now. If they’ve begged you for it for a few weeks, that’s a good starting point.
- Put together a SMART goal and write out the details.
A SMART goal is one that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound. Do a little research with your child. How much will this goal cost? Is there a time deadline associated with it, or a certain date you want to complete it by? Is it realistic that you and your child can save up that much money by that time? Once you have all the details figured out, write your SMART goal down.
- Put it somewhere visible and track your progress.
Put the SMART goal somewhere visible (e.g. the fridge or your child’s room) so that you are both reminded. Track your progress to help your child stay interested.
- Don’t give in if the going gets tough.
Parents all understand this, it is so difficult to see your child struggle or fail. But if you give in your child will not learn about consequences and the “grit” necessary to achieve goals. Encourage them to keep going, brainstorm with them on how to earn and save more money, but remember, part of learning how to save can be learning what happens when you don’t.