Tips For Teaching Kids Of All Ages To Save Money

We recently celebrated Teach Children To Save Month which is an excellent opportunity for parents to start talking to their kids about saving money. As their parent, you want the best for your children and one way to help them get a good start in life is by teaching the value of money and how to save it for a rainy day or for a goal. Learning to properly manage money is as important as learning to read and write but it can be hard to know where to start.

No matter your child’s age, from toddler to teenager, there are some basic principles that apply to any age.

Give Them A Way To Save – Little kids love putting money in their piggy banks. Give them a bank or maybe a clear jar so they can see their savings grow with every nickel and dime they drop in. Older kids respond better to seeing their savings grow in their mobile banking app so help them set up a savings account.

Let Them Earn Money – Older teens may have jobs while younger kids might pick up a few bucks by walking a neighbor’s dog. Even little kids can earn a little by taking on some kind of responsibility at home. Maybe you give your kids an allowance. Regardless of the source, kids needs to have access to some money of their own so they can learn how to handle it responsibly and possibly even learn from a mistake or two while they’re young.

Explain Needs Versus Wants – This can be a tough topic even for adults sometimes but help your kids understand the difference between what they need and what they want. While they need a new coat for school, they don’t need an expensive name brand coat. They need to eat dinner but it can be cooked at home rather than ordering out. They won’t die of boredom if they don’t have the newest Lego set.

Set Goals – Your teenager will want a car someday. Younger kids may want a new toy or spending money for a special occasion. Talk to them about how forgoing a small purchase today will help them reach their goals.

Establish Some Rules – Establish some simple rules for spending and saving. Do they get to spend all their money all the time? How much should they save? This is a personal question for your family but one basic rule of thumb is to save a quarter or a third of any money they receive.

Talk To Them About Costs –There are many costs to spending money. If you occasionally have your child pay for something out of their own money, they will associate buying the thing with seeing their savings level dwindle some. Talk to them about how if they buy this $5 toy, it will take them longer to save for the $20 item they really want. Help them rationalize how badly they want the small thing versus the bigger savings goal.

Talk About Yourself – Don’t be afraid to tell your kids your personal savings story. Do you wish you had started saving money earlier? Help them learn from your mistakes! Are you a great saver? Share with them why it’s important to you and how you prioritize saving. Talk to them about the choices you’re making every day. Help them understand that clipping coupons and buying store brand green beans is how you can afford to take the family on vacation this summer.

Saving money is like a muscle that needs some exercise. The more you save, the stronger your desire will become to make good money choices. It’s much easier to create a savings habit at a young age than to change behaviors in adulthood.

Vinton County National Bank has a number of tools to help you teach your kids the value of managing their money. Learn more about our Youth Savings accounts and Youth Checking accounts to get started.

Teach Your Children To Save

Full coins in a jar. Saving money. Growing concept.Save money for children and future.

Every spring, our bankers go into local schools to talk with youngsters about saving money. It’s part of a national effort called Teach Children To Save, led by the American Bankers Association. While we can’t go into classrooms this year, we are working to reach out to students in other ways.

With young kids, we talk about why someone might need a bank, why money is safe when kept in a bank, and the importance of saving money. Here’s some food for thought for you to help your kids develop money saving skills and understand the difference between needs and wants.

  • Make saving visual. Piggy banks are wonderful but a clear jar will allow your child to see their savings grow. If your child has a passbook savings account, help them keep their passbook current or even have them draw a chart so they can see their money grow.
  • Help your child see that things cost money. Don’t just tell your child that a toy costs $10. Help them make the connection between that cost and their money by helping them count out their money and show them how their savings decreases.
  • Talk about the difference between needs and wants. We need food, shelter, and clothes. That means we need shoes to wear but we don’t need Nikes. We want Nikes but could wear something cheaper. We need to buy food for dinner but junk food like Oreos are a want.
  • Make them buy some of their own wants so that they can see how hard it is to save money. Use this process to show them opportunity cost. “If you buy this toy, you won’t have enough money to buy a video game later.”
  • Give them savings goals. When they’re small, those goals might be to save for a special toy or game. As they age, those goals can be built on and will mature to save for a car or college.

Saving money is a habit best formed in youth – even if all they have to save is spare change or chore money. The will to save money is like a muscle that gets stronger with use. Developing good childhood habits will serve them well for a lifetime.


Teaching Children To Save

Thanks to Central Elementary Principal Teresa Snider for hosting us during Teach Children To Save Month!

Thanks to Central Elementary Principal Teresa Snider for hosting us during Teach Children To Save Month!

Every spring our McArthur office sends people into the elementary schools in Vinton County to talk with third graders about saving money. We do this because April is Teach Children To Save Month and because teaching these basic principles to young people is one way to give their personal finances a great start.

Teach Children To Save is a national program that organizes banker volunteers to help young people develop a savings habit early in life. We typically speak to third grade students and their teachers at West, South and Central elementary schools in Vinton County.

We talk to the kids about what a bank does and why someone might need to do business with us. We talk to them about savings accounts, why they might someday want to borrow money and even how a bank does business.

We also tell them a story and help them with a math worksheet, demonstrating how one child saved money for something she really wants while another child spends her money on small items instead of saving for the big goal. At the end of the lesson we talk about whether it is better to be a spender or a saver and then answer all their questions about banks and about that day’s lesson.

It is a thought provoking day for both the students and their banker teachers. We often marvel at the questions these young students ask and look forward to the school visits every year.

Staff from our Friendly Bremen Banking Centers also visit schools in their area for similar programming every spring.

Are you a teacher or a principal? Would you like to have a banker visit your students? Contact us so we may make arrangements!

Teach Kids That Saving Is Fun

All April long we are celebrating Teach Children To Save Month by visiting local schools and talking with kids about saving money. We have written about tips for helping your small kids save money and teaching your older kids life skills they will need through adulthood.

Today we want to talk about ways to make saving fun.

Savings Thermometer – Draw a giant thermometer on paper, cardboard or poster board and write a savings goal at the top. Hang it somewhere visible and color the thermometer each week to reflect how much they have saved. Goals can be big or small. Just remember to reward your child with a small treat when they reach their goal.

piggy bank - brightBank on the Fun – Move over little pig. Banks come in a variety of fun themes. If your little one loves Batman, give him a Batman bank and encourage him to help Batman save the day by saving money! There also is a wide array of electronic banks that sort and count bank contents that might appeal to older kids.

Round Up – When your child spends money, encourage him or her to round up to the nearest dollar and save the change. So if their bill comes to $4.47, have them save the extra .53 cents.

Collect the States – Help your child learn about geography and save money by saving the state quarters. There is a quarter for every state so encourage your child to tuck at least one of each into their bank. Post a map of the country next to their bank so they can mark the states they have and plan for the states they need.

Set Family Goals – Set savings goals for your children and agree to a family treat when everyone hits their goals. A movie night or ice cream for everyone could be enough motivation for everyone to work toward their goals.

Remember there is no need to count and roll all that change! Several of our locations have a machine that will count their change for free. We also have minor accounts that require no minimum balance. See a New Accounts Officer in any of our thirteen locations to open one today!