When Should Your Children Start to Save?
I bought my little girl her first ever piggy bank the other day. As she is only 3 years old I have no real intention of encouraging her to start being frugal just now. However, we went on a trip the other day and she was taken by a piggy bank with a fancy design on it.
It’s now filled with sweetie wrappers, a few foreign coins and who knows what else. However, the very fact that she now has some sort of savings mechanism made me wonder when we should start to encourage our children to save money. Here are some of the best ideas I could come up with.
When They Start Earning
If I cast my mind back to my teenage days I can remember earning a few pounds here and there doing odd jobs for neighbours and relatives. Of course, I wasted all of the cash I earned on rubbish Spectrum games, tooth-rotting Caramac bars and editions of the Beano. If I had started saving back then I wouldn’t be a millionaire by now but I would have learned about the benefits of saving a bit earlier. As it was, no one in my house really had a habit of saving money and when I started working full time it took me a couple of years to get into the habit of doing this. I think it would also help a kid feel good about themselves if they start to put away a little bit of what they earn each time they have money.
When They Want Expensive Things
To be honest, I’m dreading the day my daughter starts to hit me with ridiculous demands for smart phones, designer clothes and Lord knows what else. I’m pretty sure that the kids of today aren’t happy to settle for a bar of weird flavoured chocolate and a vaguely amusing comic. At the moment I can fob her off with cheap toys and books but before long I’m sure she will be able to tell the difference between a plastic fake phone that cost a pound and a Samsung blooming Galaxy. At this point I reckon that it might be a good idea to suggest that she finds a way of saving some money each month in order to afford these not-so-little luxuries. If you give your kid some sort of monthly allowance then it shouldn’t be impossible for them to put some of it away each time. This will prove how much they really want something and will make it all the more satisfying when they finally get their hands on the object of their dreams.
Whenever They Want To
As I mentioned earlier, no one in my family really had a savings habit when I was growing up. This wasn’t a problem for me and it meant that I chose the moment to begin saving money? Was this a good thing and is it something we could use with our own children now? I think there are both good and bad points to taking this approach. In terms of the benefits, it means that the youngster starts saving on their own terms and when they really want to. I am pretty sure that this means that they are likely to put in more effort and make a better job of it as well. On the downside, it could be that many kids are just like I was and simply never think about saving money. I think that if the idea had been explained to me when I first started earning money and wanting expensive things I might have been hooked on saving money from an earlier age.
Do you have any opinion on when your children should start to save?
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