You want to talk to your kids about money, set your kids up for success, and help them build good financial habits like learning how to save, and how to budget for purchases.
A budget can help you be honest with yourself about exactly how much money you have and where it's going to help you spot any areas that might be sapping your extra resources. There are many great tools for this, and we offer Money Manager as a free tool available to Excite Credit Union members. A budget can help you trim unnecessary expenses and make your money use more intentional, like by preparing for an emergency, or saving for a big life event such as a down-payment on a home or a relaxing vacation. Some financial gurus even save for small purchases they can easily afford, like saving
up for a specific jacket they want to wear, to maintain good habits.
When you budget and make savings goals, your kids are very likely to pick up on the behavior you model. Watching you save for something, and helping them to save for something, are great ways to reinforce the behavior. Here are some of the benefits of children's savings accounts:
- Children with savings designated for school had significantly higher math scores than their peers who lacked education-designated savings. (Link to study).
- A simple children’s savings account can dramatically increase students’ expectations for college because they have money invested for the intended purpose of higher education (link to article).
- Children with college savings between $1-$499 are 3X MORE LIKELY to attend college and 4X MORE LIKELY to graduate (link to study).
So how can you help model the behavior? One article suggests giving them 3 jars labeled “Saving,” “Spending” and Sharing.” The spending jar allows them to buy small things, such as candy, the sharing jar is for giving money to someone who needs it, and saving is for a larger goal like a toy. The main lesson here is helping them learn delayed gratification, another skill which can help with long term financial habits.
Another way to do this type of activity is to have savings goal displayed on a wall, and each time they add a coin to the jar, help them mark it on a chart. We made a printable chart just for you to use at your home! (Let us know how it works out in the comments).
In addition to teaching your child to save with a piggy bank, jar, or goal chart, a savings account can help them save faster and make their money work for them! The Youth Savings Account by Excite offers some pretty amazing benefits:5% APY for the first $2,500 (50x higher than many banks!)
Bonuses while creating the account, every 5 years, and a milestone bonus at age 18
There are so many great ways to help your child save, and the benefits can be long-lasting. We hope this article inspired you to improve your budgeting and savings habits alongside your family.